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Author Topic: Traffic "Calming"  (Read 14080 times)

Ga293

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Traffic "Calming"
« on: September 03, 2011, 07:01:46 PM »



I came across this on reddit. It's of the Chausée Romaine.

From what I gather from the submission and another image posted in the thread, this is a historic route, and in an attempt to slow down traffic, they've littered the road with these chicanes and subsequent signage. If the submitter is anyone to go by, these have not only failed to slow the traffic down, but have actually made the road more dangerous by introducing right of way issues.

Any egregious examples of traffic calming like this in your area? Does anyone know of a situation where traffic calming has helped slow or smooth traffic flow?
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Duke87

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Re: Traffic "Calming"
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2011, 10:08:39 PM »

Certainly does a great job of preserving the route's supposed historic character. Those are genuine 15th century orange bollards right there. :pan:

(also, technically, those are neckdowns. Chicanes are offset, not directly across from each other)
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Re: Traffic "Calming"
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2011, 10:45:37 PM »

The city of Davenport recently did something like this to East 46th St, and I wish I had a picture. The road is wide enough for 3-4 lanes, but it's 2 lanes with parking. To prevent idiot drivers from doing 60 in the 25-mph street (the real reason: improved drainage), they put in chicanes for a half-mile stretch.
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Re: Traffic "Calming"
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2011, 12:30:39 AM »

The city of Davenport recently did something like this to East 46th St, and I wish I had a picture. The road is wide enough for 3-4 lanes, but it's 2 lanes with parking. To prevent idiot drivers from doing 60 in the 25-mph street (the real reason: improved drainage), they put in chicanes for a half-mile stretch.
Arastradero Rd in Palo Alto and Pruneridge Ave in Santa Clara were both narrowed to 2 lanes + street parking + 2-way left turn lane in an effort to slow traffic and provide residents with street parking.  Both were re-striped as part of a test to see what impacts and benefits the reduction in lanes would have.  Commuters are obviously not happy because of increased traffic while residents are delighted.
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Re: Traffic "Calming"
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2011, 11:02:59 AM »

Jesus, that's a lot of signs.  Anyway, we just had some ripped out because they were calming a little too well.  However, a couple streets over from me they've put in some things that actually seem to work.  Honestly though, that example in the first post is ridiculous.
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1995hoo

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Re: Traffic "Calming"
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2011, 11:44:25 AM »

Certainly does a great job of preserving the route's supposed historic character. Those are genuine 15th century orange bollards right there. :pan:

(also, technically, those are neckdowns. Chicanes are offset, not directly across from each other)

This looks more typical of chicanes I've seen:

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Re: Traffic "Calming"
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2011, 12:05:05 PM »

This looks more typical of chicanes I've seen:
[chicane photo]

they drop a two-lane road by an entire lane?!?!  that seems exceedingly obfuscatory.
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Re: Traffic "Calming"
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2011, 12:17:37 PM »

This looks more typical of chicanes I've seen:
[chicane photo]

they drop a two-lane road by an entire lane?!?!  that seems exceedingly obfuscatory.

I took that picture in April 2006. I did not remember exactly where it was, other than obviously that it was along the coastal road somewhere in Fife on my way from St Andrews to Edinburgh. But the brown arrow-shaped sign on the right, which says "Coastal Path/Wemyss Caves/The Shore," allowed me to track down the location using Google Street View. The chicane is now gone, replaced with humps. See below. Note the red fence on the left and the post office in the distance in front of the gas station. It's the same place. (If search results come up when you open the link, that's because I searched for "Wemyss Caves." That's how I found the spot.)

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=Wemyss+Caves&hl=en&ll=56.161636,-3.079648&spn=0.018353,0.082397&sll=56.186362,-2.986221&sspn=0.072888,0.264187&vpsrc=6&z=15&layer=c&cbll=56.161558,-3.063467&panoid=XXSnvId14XBZodwfw1cnRw&cbp=12,232.42,,0,-1.93


As far as "obfuscatory" goes, the chicanes worked well enough when I drove through there (all the small towns had them), but there wasn't a lot of traffic and the sign is amply clear about who has to give way. In a busier area, those things would be mega-annoying. I have another picture taken a few moments before as the red Saab shown above passed around the chicane (he was behind me, but I stopped to take the picture). I had to give way to that white car before moving on after I finished taking pictures.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2011, 12:20:56 PM by 1995hoo »
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vtk

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Re: Traffic "Calming"
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2011, 05:00:08 PM »

The biggest problem with traffic calming is when it is applied on a street-by-street basis to every possible way to get across a neighborhood.  Then you have traffic angering.

Seriously, try getting across some of Columbus's north-side neighborhoods from west to east.  Every single east-west street is a pretty little street with pretty little houses on it, even the "collector" roads that were formerly county roads.  What they need to do is pick a few key streets (such as the ones that cross the Olentangy and/or have interchanges with I-71 or OH 315), and sacrifice their imagined "quiet" character and upgrade them to proper 4-lane arterials at 40MPH.  Then the other neighborhood streets will become much more calm without bumps or chicanes.
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Re: Traffic "Calming"
« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2011, 07:56:22 PM »

I have no problems with traffic calming in residential areas, as long as it's something intelligent like narrowing the road at crosswalks and not putting in unnecessary stop signs just for the hell of it. In a rural setting like that ridiculous Belgian example in the OP, it's stupid. So it blocking an entire damn lane like in the British picture.
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architect77

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Re: Traffic "Calming"
« Reply #10 on: September 05, 2011, 08:16:22 PM »

Speed bumps are a horrible permanent solution for neighborhoods that absolutely must quell speeders cutting through the neighborhood.

This is E Wesley Road,  part of a major east-west thoroughfare in Buckhead, Atlanta. It's at least 10 miles long, so, needless to say it's speeders galore.

This affluent neighborhood, Garden Hills, narrowed several streets with a new "petite" curb along with landscaping here and there. The lanes are 10' or less each way, and it's very effective in reducing speed.
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Re: Traffic "Calming"
« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2011, 06:24:57 AM »

Here's the thing about traffic calming measures: it's gotta be done right. There are several different methods of calming traffic, but they are not universally applicable. In some cases it seems like the engineers just put in something because it worked elsewhere. The analysis needs to be much more detailed and site-specific then that.

When done right, traffic calming measures can be quite effective. But these types of measures seem to work less and less the greater the road classification. Getting much higher than minor urban collector status means traffic is probably not going to be calmed much no matter what you do.


As to the OP's question: I've seen many areas where traffic calming has worked quite well. Many of these have been the use of chicanes/chokers, mini roundabouts, speed humps, and/or full or partial closures in residential areas. On some minor collector roads in Reno, the "road diet" approach--converting a four-lane road into a two-lane road with center left-turn lane and adding bike lanes in each direction with on-street parking (where space permits)--seems to have worked well for both slowing traffic and providing multi-modal transport options.
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Re: Traffic "Calming"
« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2011, 11:30:05 AM »

I have a special loathing in my heart for speed bumps.  I've had far too many circumstances where the speed limit is 15, I go over the bump at 11, and I bottom out the car with a gruesome-sounding scrape.
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Re: Traffic "Calming"
« Reply #13 on: September 06, 2011, 03:41:37 PM »

Oh, yeah, they did "traffic calming" measures when they reconstructed US 1 through Titusville.

Unfortunately, not only did the traffic not get calmed, they took away a majority of the on-street parking spaces, the ones they left are a pain in the butt to get in and out, especially during peak hours; so as a consequence there are even fewer people attempting to do business in downtown Titusville than ever before (not that there are many to begin with)! :confused: :pan:
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Re: Traffic "Calming"
« Reply #14 on: September 07, 2011, 09:49:59 PM »

The biggest problem with traffic calming is when it is applied on a street-by-street basis to every possible way to get across a neighborhood.  Then you have traffic angering.

Seriously, try getting across some of Columbus's north-side neighborhoods from west to east.  Every single east-west street is a pretty little street with pretty little houses on it, even the "collector" roads that were formerly county roads.  What they need to do is pick a few key streets (such as the ones that cross the Olentangy and/or have interchanges with I-71 or OH 315), and sacrifice their imagined "quiet" character and upgrade them to proper 4-lane arterials at 40MPH.  Then the other neighborhood streets will become much more calm without bumps or chicanes.

Columbus tried (N. Broadway, Henderson-Cooke, Bethel-Morse). However, courts (and voter referendums) chose individuals and their property rights over the needs of the community.  And the residents of Clintonville have no issues in reminding the city that they got over and will get over every time.
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Re: Traffic "Calming"
« Reply #15 on: September 08, 2011, 03:56:56 PM »

Oh, yeah, they did "traffic calming" measures when they reconstructed US 1 through Titusville.

Who the hell thinks traffic calming is a good idea on a US route?? You have to have SOME place for the traffic to go, the US route is probably the best place for it.
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DeaconG

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Re: Traffic "Calming"
« Reply #16 on: September 09, 2011, 10:34:55 PM »

Oh, yeah, they did "traffic calming" measures when they reconstructed US 1 through Titusville.

Who the hell thinks traffic calming is a good idea on a US route?? You have to have SOME place for the traffic to go, the US route is probably the best place for it.

The city fathers of Titusville...another one of their bonehead ideas of 'revitalizing' their dying downtown.
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Re: Traffic "Calming"
« Reply #17 on: September 10, 2011, 01:25:50 AM »

I-95 is the best place for most traffic.
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Re: Traffic "Calming"
« Reply #18 on: September 10, 2011, 10:07:22 AM »

Oh, yeah, they did "traffic calming" measures when they reconstructed US 1 through Titusville.

Who the hell thinks traffic calming is a good idea on a US route?? You have to have SOME place for the traffic to go, the US route is probably the best place for it.

The city fathers of Titusville...another one of their bonehead ideas of 'revitalizing' their dying downtown.
Don't worry VDOT has been working on the same thing on US 50 in Loudoun County http://virginiadot.org/projects/northernvirginia/route_50_traffic_calming_measures.asp
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Re: Traffic "Calming"
« Reply #19 on: September 10, 2011, 03:38:27 PM »

I-95 is the best place for most traffic.

Now that KSC is turning into a ghost town, I-95 will probably get ALL the traffic, since the majority of the business activity over the years has shifted from downtown Titusville to the I-95/SR 50-405-406 area, the only reason to go to downtown Titusville is the courthouse.

Titusville thinks they can turn their downtown into Cocoa Village...nagahapun! :banghead: :ded:
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Re: Traffic "Calming"
« Reply #20 on: September 10, 2011, 09:19:17 PM »

Now that KSC is turning into a ghost town, I-95 will probably get ALL the traffic, since the majority of the business activity over the years has shifted from downtown Titusville to the I-95/SR 50-405-406 area, the only reason to go to downtown Titusville is the courthouse.

Titusville thinks they can turn their downtown into Cocoa Village...nagahapun! :banghead: :ded:

Titusville still has a courthouse? I don't know anyone who has ever had to go there, even for jury duty. I thought Viera was the only county court left.

I've been to Titusville for the NWR, National Seashore, and the Wnchanted Forest EEL sanctuary. Never to go to Titusville itself. And don't count KSC out just yet. I'm confident that commercial space will pick up and it will be just as busy (if not more so) than before, just give it five years. But we may want to take that discussion to the OT forum.
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DeaconG

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Re: Traffic "Calming"
« Reply #21 on: September 10, 2011, 11:19:04 PM »

Now that KSC is turning into a ghost town, I-95 will probably get ALL the traffic, since the majority of the business activity over the years has shifted from downtown Titusville to the I-95/SR 50-405-406 area, the only reason to go to downtown Titusville is the courthouse.

Titusville thinks they can turn their downtown into Cocoa Village...nagahapun! :banghead: :ded:

Titusville still has a courthouse? I don't know anyone who has ever had to go there, even for jury duty. I thought Viera was the only county court left.

I've been to Titusville for the NWR, National Seashore, and the Wnchanted Forest EEL sanctuary. Never to go to Titusville itself. And don't count KSC out just yet. I'm confident that commercial space will pick up and it will be just as busy (if not more so) than before, just give it five years. But we may want to take that discussion to the OT forum.

FYI, Titusville still has the courthouse (next to the government complex) and is still the official county seat despite most of the county functions being at Viera; the reason being that the land that the courthouse and government complex sits on was deeded to the county by the Titus family (the founders of Titusville); if the county seat is EVER moved, ALL that land goes back to the Titus family or their descendants.  That is why the sheriff's office is still located in Titusville; by law the county seat is where the sheriff's department HQ is located, so to keep the land from reverting to the Titus family (and all the buildings on it), they keep it there and not in Viera.

They found this out in the early 90's when they attempted to shut down the county offices in Titusville, Merritt Island and Melbourne and consolidate them in Viera.

My first jury duty years ago was at the Titusville courthouse.
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