COVID-19: Transportation Response Center
Cities can achieve a reduction in traffic speeds using a variety of traffic calming techniques. While certain speed controls alter the configuration of a roadway, others change how people psychologically perceive and respond to a street.
Consider the following tools to encourage motorists to drive at target speeds.
Medians create a pinchpoint for traffic in the center of the roadway and can reduce pedestrian crossing distances.
Chokers or pinchpoints restrict motorists from operating at high speeds on local streets and significantly expand the sidewalk realm for pedestrians.
Chicanes slow drivers by alternating parking or curb extensions along the corridor.
A lane shift horizontally deflects a vehicle and may be designed with striping, curb extensions, or parking.
Speed humps vertically deflect vehicles and may be combined with a midblock crosswalk.
2-way streets, especially those with narrower profiles, encourage motorists to be more cautious and wary of oncoming traffic.
See Yield Street
Roundabouts reduce traffic speeds at intersections by requiring motorists to move with caution through conflict points.
A traffic diverter breaks up the street grid while maintaining permeability for pedestrians and bicyclists.
Signals timed to a street’s target speed can create lower speeds along a corridor.
See Coordinated Signal Timing
A dense built environment with no significant setbacks constrains sightlines, making drivers more alert and aware of their surroundings.
Trees narrow a driver's visual field and create rhythm along the street.
On-street parking narrows the street and slows traffic by creating friction for moving vehicles.
Adapted from the Urban Street Design Guide, published by Island Press.