Residential Traffic Calming Program
Traffic conditions on residential streets can greatly affect neighborhood livability. When our streets are safe and pleasant, the quality of life is enhanced. When traffic problems become a daily occurrence, our sense of community and personal well-being are threatened. With your help and the City's efforts in education, engineering, enforcement, and encouragement, these concerns can be addressed.
Citizen involvement is an important part of all traffic calming projects. The people who live and work in the project area have the opportunity to become actively involved in the planning and decision-making process.
Learn About the Program
Possible Phase I Solutions
Links and Forms
What is the Residential Traffic Calming Program?
The Residential Traffic Calming Program (RTCP)addresses neighborhood traffic safety concerns while partnering with citizens and/or community groups to become actively involved in the improvement process. Through active participation by you and your neighbors, we can identify the problem, plan the approach, implement the solutions, and evaluate the effectiveness.
How does the program work?
The program is a two-year process. The first year focuses on passive, less restrictive measures like educational programs, enforcement, pavement legends, and signing. Should Phase I actions prove ineffective at reducing excessive speeds or traffic volumes, more restrictive methods may be considered, based on certain threshold criteria.
When does Phase II begin?
Phase II of the program begins approximately one year from the implementation of the Phase I measures. We again collect data and compare it to the previous year's information. Should the traffic concerns still exist and there is sufficient data to support this, then the location will be reviewed for physical devices.
What types of physical devices are used in Phase II?
There are many types of devices used - here are several examples:
- Exit/entrance chokers
- Forced turn channelization
- Speed humps
- Traffic circles
What is involved in Phase II of the program?
Each of these devices is unique, and specific criteria have been established for when and where they may be used. Their installation is determined by traffic engineering analysis with respect to three main factors:
- Volumes in excess of the expected Average Daily Traffic
- Fifteen percent of vehicles traveling in excess of five miles per hour over the speed limit
- Street section features
Based on the data collected and the topography of the area, a device or combination of devices may be recommended. Of course, any recommended action will be based on sound engineering and planning principles. Safety remains paramount in the decision-making process, including access for public safety vehicles.
Should a location proceed to Phase II, neighborhood meetings are held and the support of 60 percent of property owners is required before proceeding with construction of the physical device.
The trimming and removal of brush by homeowners or City crews to allow better sight distance.
Neighborhood Speed Watch Program
This program allows citizens the opportunity to check out a radar unit and record the speeds of vehicles traveling in their neighborhood. The registered owners are identified (through the DMV) and sent a warning letter asking them to reduce their speeds. The letters are not violations, but reminders about the posted speed limit and the community's concern for safety.
The installation of 4-inch raised buttons placed in a design sequence across the roadway, causing a vehicle to vibrate and alerting the motorist to an upcoming situation. These may be used in conjunction with curves, crosswalks, pavement legends, and speed limit signs.
Speed Radar Trailer Board
A portable trailer equipped with a radar unit that detects the speed of passing vehicles and displays it on a digital reader board. This device shows drivers their actual speed as well as the posted speed limit, and encourages their compliance.
The painting of legends on the pavement. These may include centerlines, foglines, school crossings, and speed limits.
The posting of appropriate traffic control signs. These may include speed limit, parking, dead-end, and school signs.
Neighborhood Traffic Safety Campaign
A newsletter mailed to your community. The newsletter explains volumes and speeds in your area, recommended traffic calming measures, traffic laws, and pedestrian safety.
Increased enforcement by the Kent Police Department.
Why would our neighborhood want to participate?
There could be many reasons. Here are several examples:
- Vehicles traveling faster than the posted speed limit
- Non-local traffic using the neighborhood as a shortcut
- Traffic accidents
- Pedestrian and bicycle safety
How do we get started?
- Identify the traffic concerns in your neighborhood
- Discuss possible solutions with your neighbors from the measures listed in this brochure
- Fill out the Citizen Action Request form on the link below
How long until we hear about our recommendations and proposed solutions?
Once the Citizen Action Request form is received, we review your concerns and begin to collect data. We also conduct a field review of the area.
From this information, we compile a Proposed Improvement Plan for the location and inform you of our findings and recommendations for Phase I solutions. This review takes approximately six to eight weeks from the date we receive your Citizen Action Request form.
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