NEIGHBORHOOD TRAFFIC STUDIES

One of the most sensitive topics faced by transportation professionals is traffic on neighborhood streets. What the public finds satisfactory on major thoroughfares is quite different than what is acceptable for a local street lined by residences. As major thoroughfares become overloaded, thru-traffic frequently spills onto neighborhood streets, causing unacceptably high traffic volumes and speeds.

The first task in any neighborhood traffic study is to define the problem. The most common resident concerns are high traffic volumes, high speeds, safety, and difficult access to/from driveways. After concerns are defined, a data collection program is developed to quantify the problem. Based upon the information collected, various neighborhood traffic control strategies may be proposed. The strategies may range from simple signing and striping improvements, to enhanced enforcement measures, to constructing physical improvements such as speed humps or corner bulb-outs. Public involvement is key in the selection of traffic control techniques that are both effective and acceptable to the neighborhood.