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Streets / roads Traffic calming when the dead-end neighborhood becomes a "cut-through."


OK, here's the situation: The community I work for has a bunch of neighborhoods that only access one collector or arterial road, but have always been planned/platted for connections through to other collectors or arterials when adjacent neighborhoods develop. Municipal policies are strongly aligned with achieving this sort of connectivity.

Our street specs are somewhat antiquated and still pull for pretty wide, pretty fast residential streets. 20 years ago, they were worse, so many of those "dead end" neighborhoods have really wide streets but low traffic because they don't go anywhere. Of course those citizens come out opposed to adjacent development that makes their street a "cut through," and I don't entirely blame them.

To me, the fix would be to either have a municipal program of adding traffic calming measures to existing streets when they are connected, or make it part of the requirements for the new development (to calm the existing streets they are connecting to). Does anybody have anything like this in their community?


Yep, we went through that. We have a study approach with requires petitions from neighborhood property owners (not renters) & then a speed(ing) & count study is done for a period of time. If the study warrants a traffic calming measure, staff recommends it.

In one case, there is a 7 block section of street and it carried higher number of cars than a parallel street so it was deemed a "cut-through. Traffic speed was an issue too. The solution was to install 3 stop signs at 3 intersections. It certainly slowed down traffic and the residents were happy.

In another case I dealt with (in previous employment), it was a wide street but also the designated as the primary access street. Speeding was an issue. The solution was to paint the white line closer to the middle designating the travel lanes - 11' in width. The area left over between the white line & the curb was designated as a bike lane. People liked that because the sidewalk was narrow and bikes used the road anyway. It visually made the lanes narrow and slowed cars down. Plus some people liked to put things in the 'bike lane' as physical barriers - think rollout trash cans, cars, yard debris and the like. Was it perfect, no, but it worked to some degree.