Traffic calming is a technique to reduce the impacts of traffic on neighbourhoods and public facilities such as parks, school areas, and community centres. Traffic calming has been used to:
- Improve neighbourhood livability,
- Increase road user safety,
- Implement crime prevention programs through road closures and one-way streets, and
- Promote urban redevelopment.
Traffic Calming Devices
In areas that can benefit from traffic calming, there are a number of devices that can be used, including:
- signs such as “traffic calmed neighbourhood” signs,
- curb extensions,
- traffic circles,
- raised median islands,
- raised crosswalks or intersections,
- speed humps,
- raised medians and more.
Many factors must be considered when considering installing the appropriate traffic calming device.
Installing traffic calming devices can help to reduce vehicle speeds, volume of traffic and road user conflicts. However, they can create delays, require police enforcement to be effective, restrict access and increase maintenance time for snow clearing, garbage collection and more.
Careful assessment must be done before installing traffic calming devices.