- Report Published -
|Traffic Calming Measures|
|Department of Transportation|
|HJR 229 (Regular Session, 1998)|
|The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) was asked by the 1998 General Assembly, through House Joint Resolution 229, to study traffic calming measures for high-density traffic areas. The Department has developed the residential traffic calming guide that will be implemented as a two-year pilot program (January 1998 - December 1999). The purpose of the pilot program is to evaluate the impact and effectiveness of the new guidelines to address speeding on local residential streets. Pilot counties include Albemarle, Chesterfield, Hanover, Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William, Spotsylvania and York.|
Since the late 1980's, two statewide policies, addressing cut-through traffic and through truck traffic problems, have been available to help neighborhoods. VDOT has now developed a Residential Traffic Calming Guide, providing communities with a third traffic management tool dealing specifically with speeding on local streets. The purpose of traffic calming is to slow speeders in residential neighborhoods on streets classified as local. Traffic calming focuses on slowing traffic without restricting access.
The county board of supervisors initiates the traffic calming process by forwarding VDOT a resolution. Local residential streets are eligible for traffic calming provided the posted speed limit does not exceed 25 MPH. Also, the average speed must be at least 5 MPH over the posted speed limit and a petition requesting traffic calming must be signed by at least 75 percent of the total occupied households within the petition area.
The traffic calming plan should be developed by a group that includes representatives from the petition area, impacted area, homeowner associations, and board of supervisors, local transportation/planning staff, police, fire, rescue, VDOT, and others as appropriate. The board of supervisors and VDOT must jointly approve the final plan and method of implementation. A follow-up evaluation will be preformed to insure the traffic calming measures are effective. The residential traffic calming guide is applicable to all counties. If a particular county believes that minor modifications are necessary to better serve the needs of its citizens, modifications may be requested.
Traffic calming measures include community awareness, education, enforcement, non- physical and physical devices. Physical devices include speed humps, chokers, raised crosswalks, traffic circles, crosswalk refuges and chicanes. Funding for measures is expected to be from revenue sharing and secondary road construction funds.
Recommendations at the end of the pilot period are to revise guidelines, as needed, then implement statewide as VDOT' s official Residential Traffic Calming Guide.