Traffic Calming Strategies For Property Managers

Well-controlled traffic leads to a safer, more orderly, and efficient site

Traffic management comes with a whole host of benefits. Keeping things moving and moving well reduces road rage, results in fewer accidents, allows a business to have more customers and workers, and is safer. With fewer car crashes in a location property values go up. With more business comes increased revenue and the possibility of expansion. Less stress on the road helps ensure that customers to your business become repeat clientele. There’s no downside to having a good traffic management plan.

Read on to learn about what makes a good traffic management plan (TMP) for property managers and owners.

What is traffic calming?

According to the Institute of Transportation Engineers, traffic calming is a mix of different measures to:

  • Reduce the negative effects of motor vehicle use.
  • Alter driver behavior.
  • Improve conditions for non motorized street users.

As you may have guessed, traffic calming is a way to slow and reduce traffic in an area. Even though much of the infrastructure in the US was created for automobiles, our economy, way of life, and cities are changing. As cities become higher-density individual cars have become less efficient ways to get around. Subways, busses, walking, scooters/mopeds, and cycling have all become far more common in recent years. Because of this trend, many cities and builders have started implementing plans for reducing and slowing car traffic.

Why is traffic calming a goal?

The goal of this is to create a community where automobiles are not the sole means of transportation. Benefits include connecting people more to the city they are in, and creating human-scale walkable, bikeable, and livable communities. Those who receive benefits from traffic calming include walkers, shoppers, tourists, runners, cyclists, young children, families, and mass transit riders.

According to the Department of Transportation Website there are numerous benefits to calming traffic.

  • Decreasing the amount of vehicle traffic lanes that pedestrians must cross.
  • Providing room for a median for pedestrian crossing.
  • Improving cycling safety by adding lanes for bicycles.
  • Providing on-street parking. This parking serves as a buffer between moving vehicles and pedestrians.
  • Reducing rear-end and side-swipe crashes.
  • Improving speed limit compliance.
  • Decreasing the severity of crashes when they do occur.

The result of traffic calming comes with health benefits to the public (according to the same DOT article).

  • Reduction in chronic diseases like asthma, heart disease and diabetes.
  • Improved equity.
  • Increased physical activity.
  • Improved safety.
  • Reduced motor vehicle-related injuries.
  • Reduced motor vehicle air pollution.

What are the basics of a good traffic management plan?

A good TMP needs to have a carefully-considered balance. There needs to be a balance of proper use of space. Consideration should be spent for the types of vehicles that will be using the space, and there quantity of vehicles. Additionally, pedestrians and the types of pedestrians need to also come into the plan’s factoring.

Essentially, a good TMP should boil down to considering the road and all users of that road.

  • What is required of the road, loading zone, work zone, road, etc. from the perspective of the people who will be using the area?
  • How can the area operate safely and effectively with normal traffic alongside?
  • Address possible conflict between the people who will be using the site daily, those living in the area, and those who are passing through. 

Although TMPs and the sites they are made for vary in complexity, keeping in mind what people need as well as the site’s function will make a big difference in calming and controlling traffic.

What are some specific ways to calm traffic?

The following are things that can be built on properties in order to reduce and slow traffic.

Lane narrowing

Creating single-lane roads makes drivers more aware of pedestrians and others around them. It also frees up asphalt-paving area for green space, cycling lanes, and other uses.

Corner Radii

Narrowing corners so that they are angular rather than rounded reduces turning speed and decreases pedestrians street crossing distance.

Gateway treatments

Heavily marking a turn off from a high-speed street to a lower-speed pedestrian-heavy street alerts drivers. It lets them know they are not on a highway and to slow down. This can be done with curb extensions, markings, and raised crossings.

Pinchpoints

Narrowing the roadway, especially at busy pedestrian crossings, helps slow down motorists and make them more aware. 

Medians and islands

These spaces give pedestrians somewhere to rest while crossing a road, resulting better safety. Medians also help better organize traffic at intersections.

Mini roundabouts

Smaller roundabout with tighter turning radii ensure that cars must slow down more to use them. 

Speed humps, cushions and tables

These raised areas help control vehicle speeds and make drivers more aware of pedestrians. Speed cushions can be built narrowly, so buses aren’t effected. These methods are proven to be effective at slowing taffic.

Pavement materials 

Using things like bricks, or asphalt coated in a different color makes drivers more aware of the space they are in. Unusual textures may slow them down as well, as bricks and bumps can cause slight discomfort.

Shared streets

By removing the distinction between pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists, cars are forced to slow down and respect non-motorized vehicles on the road. 

Ensure your property is safe for everyone

If you are looking for ways to calm and manage traffic on your property, Reliable Paving can help. Nobody knows roads like a paving contractor. We’ve been in the business for over 35 years and we know what works to make traffic safe, calm, and efficient. We can help you make your private property safe for pedestrians as well as help you work with the city to make safer roadways. Let us know today what you have in mind, and we can find a way to make your roads safer and better for everyone.