|| Traffic Calming
||livable spaces, car, road, roads, pedestrian
Minnesota Statewide, Outside Minnesota
|| A searchable database of techniques and projects from the Institute of Transportation Engineers, the MN Local Road Research Board, and principles and photos from the Project for Public Spaces.
On streets where people live and/or play and shop, there is a tension between preserving a safe pedestrian feel and moving cars quickly along. Studies of the relationships between road design, driver behavior, pedestrian behavior, roadside structures, traffic control, operating speed and safety show that changes in the shape or size or design of the road and changes in traffic control techniques can make drivers slow down. Benefits include improved pedestrian and driver safety, increased property values and increased livability of the surrounding area.
Traffic calming is the implementation of targeted changes to a street. The Institute of Transportation Engineers offers a searchable database of reports, articles and other documents related to traffic calming for those advocating and implementing these techniques. Electronic copies of over 100 documents are available in PDF format.
Under "Library" on the right menu is a collection of articles on traffic calming techniques including:
* cameras, radar speed traps
* bulbouts, chockers, curb extensions
* medians, pedestrian refuge islands
* roundabouts, traffic circles
* on-street parking
* raised crosswalks, rumble strips
* roadway marking, narrowing, texture
* speed bumps, humps
Under "Locations" on the right menu are a couple dozen pamphlets from (mostly) cities implementing traffic calming. Approximately 200 slides are available for free downloading in PowerPoint format under "Seminar Materials" for showing others pictures of traffic calming techniques.
On the Project for Public Spaces web site is a "Traffic Calming 101" page at http://www.pps.org/articles/livememtraffic/ that includes a Traffic Calming Toolbox.
The web site Traffic Calming in Minnesota (http://www.mn-traffic-calming.org) offers a searchable database of traffic calming projects in Minnesota (including costs) and downloadable reports from research projects funded by the Minnesota Local Road Research Board (LRRB; established through state legislation, governed by city and county engineers). Pictures of specific calming techniques are included, and the "3Es" of traffic calming are stressed: education, enforcement, engineering.
* See a very nice roundabout brochure at http://www.lrrb.org/pdf/FinalRoundaboutBrochure.pdf
* See a roundabout site at http://www.mnltap.umn.edu/Topics/Roundabouts.html and http://www.dot.state.mn.us/roundabouts
* See the Transportation Research Board's Report 672 (2010): Roundabouts: An Informational Guide - Second Edition which explores the planning, design, construction, maintenance, and operation of roundabouts. At http://bit.ly/eyC4bD
Roundabout safety. Experience has shown that traffic accidents are reduced dramatically when traffic lights and stop signs are replaced by roundabouts. A comprehensive study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (http://www.iihs.org/) documented a reduction of as much as 90% in fatal or incapacity injuries, a 75% decrease in injury-producing crashes, and a 39% decrease in all types of traffic accidents. Roundabouts slow traffic (reducing the need for police patrols) and completely eliminate the possibility of high-speed, broadside accidents. See http://www.iihs.org/research/topics/roundabouts.html for information and research on roundabouts on this site.