by Kevin French, Transportation and Engineering Director
comments open from May 14 until June 2
What is traffic calming?
Traffic calming is a method of reducing traffic speeds and improving safety through the use of engineering measures to change driver behavior. These measures include roadway narrowing, changes in street alignment, and other physical measures such as refuge islands, speed humps, and raised crosswalks.
Traffic Calming in Jefferson County
The Transportation and Engineering Division utilizes traffic calming measures, where appropriate, to reduce vehicles speeds in residential areas, discourage cut-through traffic, and improve safety. The following devices are used in Jefferson County:
• Speed Bumps: Speed bumps, also called speed humps, are rounded traffic calming devices that use vertical deflection to reduce vehicle speeds on residential streets. The county’s speed bumps are 12 feet long, 3 inches tall, and span the width of the roadway. Speed bumps are installed in accordance with the county speed bump policy. Speed bumps are no longer installed in the mountain areas.
Examples: 10th Avenue, Carr Street
• Speed Tables: Speed tables are similar to speed bumps but are flat on top instead of rounded. When a speed table has a marked crosswalk on top, it is also called a raised crosswalk. Speed tables reduce vehicle speeds and improve pedestrian safety.
Example: Continental Divide Road
• Pedestrian Refuge Islands: Pedestrian refuge islands are raised islands located in the median area of a roadway with a gap to allow pedestrians to walk through. These islands provide a narrowing effect and improve pedestrian safety.
Example: Pierce Street south of Ken Caryl Avenue
• Roundabouts: Roundabouts are circular intersections that require traffic to travel counter-clockwise around a center island and are used on higher volume streets. Roundabouts can moderate traffic speeds and enhance safety.
Example: Belleview Avenue/Quincy Avenue intersection
Did you know?
All-way stop signs are not considered a traffic calming device. While many citizens request all-way stop signs in their neighborhood to slow cars down, unwarranted all-way stop signs can make an intersection less safe. Drivers on the major street will often begin to roll through or completely ignore the stop signs once they realize there is little cross-traffic. Those drivers who do stop may speed up after the stop to make up for lost time.
For more information about traffic calming in Jefferson County, contact the Transportation and Engineering Division at 303-271-8495.