Traffic calming makes "Streets for People"

In 2004, New York-based Transportation Alternatives released Streets for People, a how-to manual for people to use to bring Traffic Calming to their neighborhood.

What is Traffic Calming?
"Traffic Calming" is the translation of the German word "verkehrsberuhigung." The modern traffic calming movement began in Holland in the early 1970's. But the idea has been around since the ancient Romans used stepping stones to slow chariots at pedestrian crossings. Traffic calming street designs abound in pre-war U.S. cities, including NYC, before newer, auto-centric cities became common.

Traffic calming holds that streets are valuable public space and should be shared equally by all users. It is a set of street designs and traffic rules that slow and reduce traffic while encouraging walkers and cyclists to share the street. Traffic calming methods include: speed humps, raised crosswalks and raised intersections; extended and widened sidewalks; mini-roundabouts; widened medians; bicycle lanes and rumble strips. Traffic calming measures like speed humps are easily modified to accommodate emergency vehicles, garbage trucks and buses.

TransAlt's Kit Hodge wrote, "We did a . . . version of this back in the late 1990s and found that it was wildly successful; elected officials brought it to meetings and used it to refute lies from [traffic planning engineers] and push for real street safety measures. The new, much better designed version has already had the same effect. . . . [I]t s hard to describe in words many of the engineering changes we all seek. Visuals are very powerful."

More about the Manual here. Download a printable PDF version of the Manual here.

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