Every device intended for traffic calming has pros and cons. Some which might be terrible in one situation could be ideal in another. But this makes it especially important you carefully look at the options before you decide which measures and devices are a good fit for your area. Whether you’re with a local government that makes these decisions, or you’re a citizen who wants to stay informed and help shape your community, a look at some of the hidden dangers in some traffic calming measures can help you make better decisions.
Solve Traffic Problems without Creating More
“First do no harm” is a mantra repeated by physicians when choosing a course of treatment–it’s important not to do harm when trying to heal. The same view should be taken when trying to determine the best ways to control traffic problems in a given area.
Speed bumps, for example, will slow down traffic. This is a fact. Most vehicles can’t comfortably roll over such a bump going faster than the speed limit, which would usually be somewhere between 20 and 30 anywhere a speed bump might seem like a good idea. Unfortunately, many cars have to nearly stop to go over them. This is inconvenient. But there’s an even bigger problem, and that’s the potential for harm.
One danger of using speed bumps is that some drivers will simply swerve to avoid them, driving off the side of the road, possibly in the path where people bicycle or walk. Motorcycles have to slow to go over speed bumps, too. Some can’t go over them, but need the type with gaps to drive through. Others swerve around. This makes for a hazardous situation. The bumps also slow emergency vehicles, often doubling the time ambulance and fire trucks take to get to people in need.
Rumble strips can cause problems for people on bicycles who must travel over them. And physical devices like concrete barriers between roads and bike paths can actually trap cyclists in, which could be dangerous if they need to move out of the way quickly.
Other Traffic Control Measures
Signs from TraffiCalm don’t cause cars and motorcycles to swerve or nearly stop to navigate a hump. They also won’t interfere with foot traffic or bicyclists. The MUTCD traffic signs are installed with a regular speed limit sign, and are manufactured in an ISO9001 certified facility for quality. They display each driver’s speed back as cars approach, causing almost all drivers to naturally slow.
The IMSA and the ATSSA have both done studies and quoted others that show the effectiveness of these types of signs and the growing effectiveness of carefully designed ITS methods. For a traffic calming measure that won’t cause other traffic problems, contact TraffiCalm Systems today.