Chicanes - Street parking or landscaping alternates from one side of the street to the other so the driver sees a zigzagged road rather than a clear, straight path. These abrupt changes cause motorists to reduce speed. In Seattle, which has them on 12 busy streets, chicanes force motorists to slow to about 20 mph. Cost: About $13,000.
Neckdowns - Neckdowns are sidewalks and curbing that extend into the roadway to shorten the pedestrian crossing. They also narrow the width of the road for vehicles forcing drivers to slow down. Cost: $2,000-$3,000.
Bulbouts - Bulbouts, also called neckouts, are curbs that jut into the street to narrow the roadway and slow traffic. In Sarasota, Fla., the devices allow one car through at a time and are lanscaped with ground cover and crape myrtle shrubs. Yield signs force opposing traffic to wait, and speed signs warn motorists to slow to 15 mph. Cost: About $5,500.
Speed tables - Flat, raised surfaces made of bright red brick extend the width of streets and go down on both ends of the flat 'table top.' They force drivers to slow to 15-25 mph.
Cost estimate: $6,500.
Traffic circles - Seattle has 610 mini-circles, which force drivers to reduce speed to 15-20 mph to maneuver through intersections. The 16-foot-diameter circles are landscaped with flowers, shrubs or trees. Cost: About $6,000.
Speed humps - Longer and flatter than speed bumps, humps are popular because they're inexpensive and effective. Typically, these mounds of asphalt extend from curb to curb. They slow drivers to 15-25 mph. Cost: About $1,500.
Traffic islands - Considered much more effective than bulbouts, these oval, landscaped median devices beautify streets and slow vehicles to 10-15 mph. Cost: $5,000-$10,000
Please tell your Neighbor
- take a moment & Email
it to them here . . .
What can we do to slow the traffic down in our own Neighborhoods? Here are some examples of the growing trend toward traffic calmers:
click on grey MAP above
Neighborhoods declare war on traffic - from USA Today, May 2, 1997
Tired of stop-and-go traffic, the time-pressed commuter tries a short cut through neighborhoods on streets that aren't as busy.
Remember as you read this article it was written in 1997 . . .
Here in Sarasota, engineers can barely keep up with demand for traffic calmers. Thirty-five thousand motorists a day travel to jobs downtown. To shave five to 10 minutes off trips, drivers cut through neighborhoods of multimillion dollar Mediterranean homes with bayfront views.
As a result, harried homeowners have fought to have as many as 80 traffic calmers built in their beach resort town since 1990. Twenty-four more will go in this year.
Speed humps are the traffic calmners, most in demand here, as they are across the nation. Not as teeth-rattling as speed bumps found in parking lots, humps rise 3-4 inches above street level and typically are 12 feet long.
Carol Ostling waged a three-year battle to get humps installed on her street after speeding cars killed the family's two cats and nearly plowed down her husband, Robert. He was in his own front yard when a driver sailed onto the lawn, braking just inches from him.
"It was an absolute nightmare," Carol Ostling recalls. "Every other week there was a fender bender. Something had to be done." At times, she says, she felt like screaming, "Don't drive like it's the Indy 500!"
The Ostlings attended endless meetings, made phone calls and circulated petitions because 60% of their neighbors had to agree to the humps.
Since the humps were installed in 1994, traffic has dropped by nearly 50%, to 3,700 cars a day. Speeds have fallen about 10 mph, to 28 mph. The posted speed is 25 mph.
Read the whole article HERE - a PDF window will open
PROS of Roundabouts . . .
Roundabout expert Michael Wallwork cites the following benefits of roundabouts over traditional intersections with traffic lights:
Safety: Wallwork said studies show that crashes and fatalities decrease dramatically on roundabouts because drivers can only make right turns.
Cost: Traffic lights can cost millions of dollars over the life of an intersection. The Venice roundabout would cost at least $3 million less to build than a regular intersection.
Environment: Roundabouts keep cars in constant motion so they burn less gas by not idling at an intersection.
Congestion relief: The constant flow of traffic results in fewer backups and allows the intersection to accommodate more cars before it fails.
Roundabouts are planned or under consideration for the following locations:
- Jacaranda Boulevard and Venice Ave.
- North Cattlemen Road and DeSoto Road.
- Multiple locations in the University Town
CITY OF SARASOTA
- Pineapple Avenue and Main Street.
- Main Street and Orange Avenue.
- Hillview Street and Osprey Avenue.
- U.S. 41 and Fruitville Road.
- U.S. 41 and Gulf Stream Avenue.
- Multiple locations along Manatee Avenue downtown.
- Throughout Murdock Village development.
Here are some great ideas from
- Michael Wallwork
Our proposed N. Cattlemen & West Richardson Rd. roundabout would could look similar to this example:
A 3-way Roundabout in MIchigan
Carolyn Eastwood, who oversees traffic projects for the county's Public Works, says New Jersey
has been removing traffic circles, not roundabouts.
Most of us wouldn't know the difference. She says traffic circles tend to be larger, and they are designed to keep cars moving at higher speeds.
Roundabouts force traffic to slow, but they keep it moving at a pace that beats, on average, the time
it takes to traverse a traditional, lighted intersect-ion where drivers have to stop half of
That's what the so-called experts say, and no one locally has offered any evidence to refute them.
As for pedestrian safety, maybe advocates could quell some fears if they'd stop referring to the roundabout medians as "pedestrian refuges."
Then we could repress the image of roundabout refugees huddled at mid-circle yearning to be free.
Why build a Roundabout?
Take our SURVEY
counts, let it
F210 TRAFFIC Calming - Roundabouts
This page was last updated: September 7, 2016