Traffic calming

Program basics

  • Traffic calming initiatives reduce the negative effects of motor vehicle use, alter driver behavior, and improve conditions for non-motorized street users
  • Some interventions include speed humps, speed tables, raised intersections, and roadway narrowing
  • Traffic calming measures can reduce traffic speed, reduce motor vehicle collisions, and increase activity and improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists

Strength of evidence

Evidence level: Proven (highest tier)

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Proven (highest tier)

Ranked as having the highest level of evidence by County Health Rankings and Roadmaps


Target population

Community-wide

Program cost

Variable; speed bumps cost $1,670, pedestrian islands cost $10,460 (on average)

Implementation locations

  • Nationwide

Dates active

Not applicable

Outcomes and impact

  • Increase physical activity
  • Improve safety
  • Reduce motor vehicle-related injuries and fatalities
  • Reduce transportation's contribution to air pollution

Keys to successful implementation

  • Note: This content is under review
  • Measure traffic or speed problems in the study area before designing the intervention.
  • Traffic calming measures are more effective when implemented with broader streetscape design efforts.
  • Pedestrian refuge islands, sidewalks, crosswalks, yield signs, exclusive pedestrian signal phasing, and increased lighting can reduce the risk of pedestrian-vehicle crashes.
  • Partnerships between local government, neighborhood schools, advocacy groups, local businesses, and city neighborhood councils can increase support for changes to traffic flows.
  • Implementation should go beyond traffic outcomes and include ongoing education, community involvement, enforcement, and continued evaluation to ensure that changes are improving outcomes.

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