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Thread: Traffic calming AIB unpaving way for commuters

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
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    Traffic calming AIB unpaving way for commuters

    We have many long, wide streets without any traffic calming measures. About 10 years ago, the City put up dozens of 4-way stops to slow traffic down. The new Public Works director has been removing these since the traffic counts don’t warrant them. Now we are left with the original problem, people driving 50 mph down neighborhood streets. I Googled “Traffic Calming” and came up with several good methods of slowing up traffic. Speed humps, traffic circles, chokers, etc.

    Does anyone have a preferred traffic calming method or dislikes for others?

  2. #2
    Quote Originally posted by savemattoon
    We have many long, wide streets without any traffic calming measures. About 10 years ago, the City put up dozens of 4-way stops to slow traffic down. The new Public Works director has been removing these since the traffic counts don’t warrant them. Now we are left with the original problem, people driving 50 mph down neighborhood streets. I Googled “Traffic Calming” and came up with several good methods of slowing up traffic. Speed humps, traffic circles, chokers, etc.

    Does anyone have a preferred traffic calming method or dislikes for others?
    Allow (and encourage) on-street parking on both sides, to break up the wide lanes. Until the road gets a major physical overhaul, you will have speeding. People drive what a road "feels" rather than what it is posted. The "feel" is derived from the lane width, open-ness, other drivers, etc. You can't control the other drivers, but you can the width and open-ness. Other than that, speed tables keep the speeds down without putting your head into your car roof like typical bumps or humps.
    Who's gonna re-invent the wheel today?

  3. #3
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Traffic circles do not calm traffic, they increases capacity/safety. In addition they have negative impacts to pedestrians as there is never an actual stop required for the car as found at the intersections. It sounds like this is not needed.

    Did you discuss other things besides traffic counts? How about pedestrian safety being used as something to warrant stop signs. I can't think of anyone arguing against that, particularly on long blocks.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally posted by savemattoon
    We have many long, wide streets without any traffic calming measures. About 10 years ago, the City put up dozens of 4-way stops to slow traffic down. The new Public Works director has been removing these since the traffic counts don’t warrant them. Now we are left with the original problem, people driving 50 mph down neighborhood streets. I Googled “Traffic Calming” and came up with several good methods of slowing up traffic. Speed humps, traffic circles, chokers, etc.

    Does anyone have a preferred traffic calming method or dislikes for others?
    According my oppinion the next traffic element that would be considered is" narrowing street" by artifficially extended curb from one side and permitting parallel parking on the other .

  5. #5

    Stop sign warrants

    Quote Originally posted by DetroitPlanner
    Did you discuss other things besides traffic counts? How about pedestrian safety being used as something to warrant stop signs. I can't think of anyone arguing against that, particularly on long blocks.
    Stop sign warrants are set by the MUTCD, each state has one based off the FHWA's MUTCD. They are backed by each state's revised code. Attorneys love when communities stray from using this methodology.
    Who's gonna re-invent the wheel today?

  6. #6
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by ssnyderjr
    Stop sign warrants are set by the MUTCD, each state has one based off the FHWA's MUTCD. They are backed by each state's revised code. Attorneys love when communities stray from using this methodology.
    This is the exact argument the PWD made. Pedestrian traffic was drastically reduced when they closed and razed all the historic grade schools , but thats a different story

    There is on street parking, but its not used much on the busier streets. This leaves 40 foot wide pavement and no stop signs for over a mile. Would striping the outside of the driving lane help? Force drivers into an 11 foot lane. That would be the cheapest solution if effective.

    Street parking is used on my street, but the centerline is not striped. Drivers fly down the middle of the road and slow when they meet oncoming traffic. Most other streets were converted to one way in the 1970's.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Big Owl's avatar
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    www.ite.org has a great deal of info on traffic calming.

    Well we are using some speed cushions which are 6' x 6' rubber humps tapered on all four sides. they are typically placed in pairs providing continous coverage across the street. For example on a 20' street you would have the cushions centered in the travel lane and little less then 3 foot between the two cushons and the cushions and the curbs. The idea is that the cushions are wide enough that the front wheels of a fire truck and other emergency vehicles can stradle them... although the back wheels will hit them be cause they ususally have narrower rear wheel base oncount of the double/stacked wheels. so our fire department complians of reduced response time and it does but not as much as a hump would.

    I am huge fan though of voluntary compliance, it is easier that way.

    Out of curosity, savemattoon has a formal speed study/count been done?


    Edit:

    just saw your reply, i started this earlier. 40 foot of pavement... wow you guys have a speed way. As far as oneway/two traffic i have seen that two way traffic on unstriped streets is typical slower if the volume is balanced at the same time. Unfortunately with exception of a few well conected location the volume is usually one side and it flips for the reverse peek.

    Medians can be effective, as well as any thing that narrows the street. striping the pavement for narrower travel lanes does work somewhat, that with a combination of bulb out or curb extention narrowing the road is more effective, but it has to be spaced appropriately.
    Last edited by Big Owl; 17 Nov 2005 at 10:42 AM.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by Big Owl
    Out of curosity, savemattoon has a formal speed study/count been done?
    The PWD did traffic counts. I am not sure what method, but he's a "by the book" kind of guy.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by ssnyderjr
    Stop sign warrants are set by the MUTCD, each state has one based off the FHWA's MUTCD. They are backed by each state's revised code. Attorneys love when communities stray from using this methodology.
    Well I don't want to give the attorneys more fuel for the fire, but what about preventative measures to assure the community's safety? Isn't the MUTCD a basic code for traffic devices? A community cannot stray from it based upon its goals (safer streets)?

    Hmm Ssnyder was able to argue a good point why pedestrian safety could be discounted! Anyone else able to add to this?

  10. #10
    Cyburbian LorenzoRoyal's avatar
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    Excessive stop signs can cripple traffic flow, not just slow it down. I've always preferred speed humps--the traffic is still moving, but the humps keep speeding in check.

  11. #11
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    Reduce the width of the road, turn unused portions into pedestrian/bike corridors. If this is a true residential street, large barricades should not be required to separate the uses. Some strategically located planters...maybe even street trees?

  12. #12
         
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    parking on both sides of the road and narrowing the streets are nice solutions, but don't forget cyclists --

    cyclists which use the edge of the laneway are at risk to opening car doors -- few drivers think to check for bikes when they get out of their cars.

    if the lanes are narrowed, try using some of the saved space for a dedicated bike lane.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian nerudite's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by DetroitPlanner
    Traffic circles do not calm traffic, they increases capacity/safety. In addition they have negative impacts to pedestrians as there is never an actual stop required for the car as found at the intersections. It sounds like this is not needed.
    It depends on what kind of traffic circle you are talking about. Smaller circles in typical neighbourhood streets can slow down traffic quite well. I used to live in an area of Portland with lots of these circles, and it was great for calming traffic. Here is an example of some of the Portland circles, including photos.

  14. #14

    Ha

    Quote Originally posted by nerudite
    It depends on what kind of traffic circle you are talking about. Smaller circles in typical neighbourhood streets can slow down traffic quite well. I used to live in an area of Portland with lots of these circles, and it was great for calming traffic. Here is an example of some of the Portland circles, including photos.
    I recall reading somewhere that Portland has like $100,000/yr budgeted just for Traffic Calming, they're huge on it. They can afford to do alot of different things with a budget like that strictly for traffic calming. Circles=widening of intersections+altering curbs and sidewalks to accomodate the extra widths (and turning radii) to allow for Dumpster trucks turning, etc. = big $$

    Maybe if the neighbors won't use the on-street parking enough to make that effective, then simply striping wide (6' from face of curb) bike lanes would do the trick, effectively narrowing the travel lanes by creating "edge lines". Adding centerlines will keep the drivers in check too. It would help if the street section in questions abutted another bicycle facility (other bike lanes, a park or school). Striping is CHEAP and can probably be done in-house by your traffic/street dept.
    Who's gonna re-invent the wheel today?

  15. #15
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by nerudite
    Here is an example of some of the Portland circles, including photos.
    This is kind of what I imagined after researching this. Thanks!!

    Quote Originally posted by ssnyderjr
    Circles=widening of intersections+altering curbs and sidewalks to accomodate the extra widths (and turning radii) to allow for Dumpster trucks turning, etc. = big $$

    simply striping wide (6' from face of curb) bike lanes would do the trick, effectively narrowing the travel lanes by creating "edge lines". ... Striping is CHEAP and can probably be done in-house by your traffic/street dept.


    Our streets are so wide, we can easily put in a 20' dia. circle WITHOUT having to realign the curbs. I think I'll propose both circles and striping to the PWD. I may get striping done

  16. #16
    You might also try partial blocking of streets. If you are trying to discourage through traffic and slow it down as well, make some sections of the road exit only on one end so that through traffic has to turn and use a different street. The section that is blocked remains two way internally, but vehicles that need to be on that section of the street can only enter from one end. This only works if you have a viable alternate route though.

  17. #17
    Cyburbian
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    I think I would recommend striping the road. It is cheap. We had a similar situation and it has reduced speeds dramatically on the particular street. If it doesn't work, then you could explore more involved solutions.

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