READING - Traffic Calming ePrimer

FHA LogoAre the drivers going through your neighbourhood going too fast? Do you want to do something about it? Your first reaction might be to approach authorities to install a stop sign or speed bumps. This may or may not be the appropriate way to deal with the situation.

The U.S. Federal Highway Administration has published a traffic calming e-primer for public use. According to the site:

The ePrimer is presented in eight distinct modules developed to allow the reader to move between each to find the desired information, without a cover-to-cover reading. The ePrimer presents:

a definition of traffic calming, its purpose, and its relationship to other transportation initiatives (like complete streets and context sensitive solutions);

  • illustrations and photographs of 22 different types of traffic calming measures;
  • considerations for their appropriate application, including effects and design and installation specifics;
  • research on the effects of traffic calming measures on mobility and safety for passenger vehicles; emergency response, public transit, and waste collection vehicles; and pedestrians and bicyclists;
  • examples and case studies of both comprehensive traffic calming programs and neighborhood-specific traffic calming plans;
  • case studies that cover effective processes used to plan and define a local traffic calming program or project and assessments of the effects of individual and series of traffic calming measures.

Using the primer may make your approach to authorities more likely to succeed as you could then suggest an appropriate solution with a recognized source of information to back up your choice.

We need to stop calling it "traffic calming" and call it what it is: driver calming.

Our society and media go too far by removing agency from discussions about bad drivers, e.g. "speed" or "speeding" is not a problem, it's speeding drivers.

And, it's not just vehicle drivers.

We have this unfortunate roadway system that all too often puts drivers, cyclists, pedestrians, and whoever the heck else falls under the general term of 'traffic' in potential conflict with each other.

Mutual respect and regard - both for traffic laws and reasonable manners - are what's needed, instead of a selfish attitude. And that applies to all of the road users, motorists are not the enemy.

On a separate note, I personally think that the various calming measures we've seen traffic engineers applying over the last twenty years (maybe longer) have been working quite well despite the immense pressure on the systems we have.

I’m not convinced this will have any effect/results.  The issue is;  the current violators ignore the existing laws/rules governing speed, adding additional rules or signs will do absolutely nothing to deter those violators.  I am adamant it is enforcement that we are lacking.  No boots on the ground anymore.  There’s no one one out there enforcing the current laws, at least, no one (in numbers) that is able to make a difference.  I should not have to “back up my complaint” to the authorities with some computer program/course to substantiate my concerns.  I firmly believe the policing in police duties has long been put to the back burner.  Policing agencies are doing a great job at delegating their responsibilities to the community, asking them to step up to fill the duties they were hired to execute.  The only issue is, the communities don’t have the power and authority to ENFORCE driving laws - the police have that!  We don’t need more laws or more signage, we need Enforcement!  Short of that requirement, I firmly believe that my solution to sit at curbside with a bucket of rocks will deter a few speeders, at least as long as I enforce it.   

It has nothing to do with more rules or laws. It deals with physically changing the driving environment so that drivers feel more confortable choosing the desired behaviour.

I did read it.  Well the introduction at least.  Barely got through that before it lost my attention.  But, do I stand correct when I read your summary?

”changing the driving environment so drivers feel more comfortable choosing the desired behaviour”

...sounds like a whole lot of warm and fuzzy stuff that will unlikely change any of the driving environment for those who drive like idiots.  

Still like my bucket of rocks, that would change the environment.

We have the speeding problem here in our neighborhood on Nanaino Lakes Rd..  The posted speed is 50 kph.  Many vehicles, motor cycles, and commercial vehicles too are doing well over this posted speed.  I can see 5-10 kph over but many are doing 60 plus kph, like a few drivers running 80-100 in the odd case. It is not had hard to judge speed.  Basic problem is drivers are not paying attention to the speed limit signs or don't even see them and in some cases don't even realize they are over the top.  Best solution would be some good old time police work.  We need more presence of the police.  But I know the RCMP are so short handed and not enough resources to be everywhere all the time..  I'm not say we should fine all these speeders, but have police stop them and warn them in this area that it is a 50 kph zone. Not come out just once a month but 2-3 times a week at different times. We've already had two accidents here in the last month. I am contemplating writing the City of Nanaimo Traffic Control Dept. and get some better signage in our area as well.  

As for the Province of BC, we really need a highway patrol division. Not likely to happen anytime soon.

I only ask, in view of a recent comment from our site host:

It deals with physically changing the driving environment so that drivers feel more confortable choosing the desired behaviour.

So, 'what would calm traffic on Nanaimo Lakes Road', should surely be within the context of the question, here. Never mind the cops.

As for the Province of BC, we really need a highway patrol division.

I'm not sure of your meaning, here. Around these parts, they still appear to be monitoring the #1 from 232 Street in Langley to the Capilano Overpass. Which essentially means setting up radar traps on the fastest flowing sections of the freeway, where the collision rate is low as the safety is high.

Ever see the Highway Patrol pull over a trucker for following too close, or disrespecting right of way? Hell, those guys are more interested in nabbing those miscreants who use the HOV lane when they're not entitled, than any kind of useful law enforcement.


Having more police presence would indicate to me "traffic calming".  In other words slowing the speeders down. If the day ever comes for totally self driving cars, their computers will read the speed signs and stop signs.  I think that would be  one of the best things coming out of self driving vehicles.  That would surely bring the so called traffic calming in.