Traffic Calming Policy and Process
The purpose of this policy is to establish guidelines for the neighborhoods and the Town staff to work together in addressing various types of traffic conditions, such as speeding, cut-through traffic, truck intrusion, and commercial parking spill-over.
The applicable streets are local streets, neighborhoods or hillside collectors as classified in the General Plan.
The General Plan identifies as goals of traffic calming:
- Improving neighborhood safety for vehicles, pedestrians and bicyclists.
- Reducing the number and severity of vehicle related accidents.
- Maintaining the speed of motor vehicles to the posted speed limits.
- Preserving emergency vehicles’ response times.
- Decreasing the volume of extraneous/cut-through traffic.
- Maximizing the community participation and support in the program.
- Limiting the impact on adjacent local streets.
Policy Details – Adopted March 18, 2002
This policy serves to improve the quality of life in affected areas in Town. To develop solutions,
staff works collaboratively with neighborhood residents through a series of community meetings
to develop a project proposal that is within the Town’s budgetary parameters. All projects must
reach at least a 67% super-majority support from the neighborhood for each proposal.
For any local or collector street to qualify for a traffic calming project review, the neighborhood
must meet or pass at least one of the following criteria:
- 85th percentile speeds exceeding the posted speed limit by 5 mph.
- Volumes exceeding 1,500 vehicles per day (vpd) for local streets and 3,000 vpd for collector streets.
- Volume of trucks, over 30 feet in length, exceeding one-half of one percent of the total traffic volume.
- Curb parking occupancy exceeding 70% from 8AM to 7PM.
projects in the order of first-come-first-serve. If the minimum criteria are not met, or a subsequent
petition against the first petition is received, the request for traffic calming is nullified.
1. Traffic Issue Request: Neighborhoods request traffic calming by contacting the Parks and Public Works Department at (408) 399-5770 or emailing email@example.com. The request will be assigned to Town Engineering staff to evaluate the concerns and determine 1) if the concern can be mitigated through normal staff work or separate engineering programs or 2) if a neighborhood petition is required to begin a traffic calming process. Some traffic concerns may be addressed through separate programs, e.g. the safe routes to school plans and the sidewalk programs for improving pedestrian and bicycle accessibility. Many traffic concerns may be solved with measures that will not have impacts on other streets, such as signing and markings. Staff needs to determine the effect the solution will have on adjacent streets. Staff will make every effort to mitigate the concerns without having to embark on an actual traffic calming.
2. Petition: A Neighborhood Petition is required to begin a traffic calming process. The petition signature gathering is the responsibility of the neighborhood and is required to identify neighborhood support (over 50% of the households must sign the petition) and reflect the neighborhood’s understanding of the time frame of the traffic calming process. The petition needs to state what problem exists and acknowledge the process will take numerous months to solve while staff gathers data, convene neighborhood meetings and report information to the Town Council.
3. Data Collection: Upon receipt of the petition, staff will collect appropriate data to determine if the minimum criteria have been met (see Criteria section above). If the data concludes the minimum criteria are not met and if police enforcement, education or other means are appropriate, staff will implement internal work actions.
4. Informational Neighborhood Meeting: If the data indicates the minimum criteria are met or exceeded, staff will define the neighborhood and impacted streets to consider any other potential traffic unintended impacts that these solutions may create, identify possible traffic calming solutions and convene a neighborhood meeting. The first neighborhood meeting will be an information and feedback session: staff will present traffic data and proven strategies for specific traffic issues and their cost constraint, and the neighborhood will provide input to the solution process. The neighbors will learn the process and a reasonable expectation of the project.
5. Additional Solution Meetings & Development of Trial Project: If the consensus at the neighborhood meeting is to proceed with the development of a traffic calming plan, staff will collaborate with public safety agencies to prepare alternative traffic calming plans. Once the alternatives have been developed, staff will convene additional neighborhood meetings to present the pros and cons for each alternative, determine neighborhood preference and public support. The outcomes of the meetings will refine the development of a trial traffic calming project. This trial project will need the support of 67% of the affected neighborhood, to be confirmed by a post card vote, conducted by staff. If the neighborhood does not meet the 67% support necessary, staff will identify concerns, report results to the neighborhood and determine the next steps.
6. Support and Implementation of Trial Traffic Calming Project: As indicated by 67% support, staff will recommend the trial project to the Town Council (or its designee) for approval. The duties of the designee could include the review of a proposal with respect to the General Plan and any other relevant considerations. If the project is approved, staff will prepare final plans and specifications for implementation. The trial project must stay in place for a minimum of three months to determine its effectiveness, unless substantial unacceptable impacts are identified. At the end of the trial period, a follow-up neighborhood meeting will be convened to determine support for permanency.
7. Permanent Traffic Calming Implementation: To permanently install/maintain the traffic calming project, a final postcard vote will be conducted by staff. Again, a 67% majority vote by post card will be needed to recommend the project to Town Council for final approval to install the permanent devices. The project will be completed with its permanent installation understanding that staff will need to clarify budgeting consideration which could impact the implementation of approved traffic calming solutions.
If you have any questions with the neighborhood traffic calming program contact the Parks and
Public Works Department.
NOTE: It is recommended to discuss your concerns with 50% or more of your neighbors in advance, to make sure everyone agrees there seems to be a traffic problem in your neighborhood.