Continued growth and decentralization throughout the United States have increased the number of cars on streets and highways. High traffic volumes and speeds, especially on residential streets, reduce the quality of life for residents because of concerns about safety, noise, and pollution. As a result, many neighborhood residents and local officials have expressed interest in undertaking traffic calming as a means of decreasing the cars’ dominance.
Traffic calming encompasses a series of physical treatments that are meant to lower vehicle speeds and volumes by creating the visual impression that certain streets are not intended for high speed or cut-through traffic. Thus, traffic calming can improve safety for pedestrians and reduce noise and pollution levels. Examples of these measures include bulbouts, speed humps, chicanes, and traffic circles.
This course summarizes past research on speed humps, bulbouts, and roadway narrowing. Findings from a new evaluation of bulbouts, raised crosswalks and intersections, refuge islands, and speed humps in eight communities are also reported. Whereas earlier studies usually focused on vehicle speeds and volumes, this course is more about motorist yielding and pedestrian crossing behavior, in addition to vehicle speeds.
US Department of TransportationReview the quiz before studying the course.
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