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Traffic calming is a kind of speed regulating method in which slow-moving pedestrians and bicycles can co-exist with regular vehicular traffic. It is also a kind of bringing equilibrium to the system so that no mode can dominate at the expense of others.
Traffic calming measures have various purposes and are described below: (1)
The main purpose of the traffic calming measures is to reduce the speed of fast-moving vehicles thereby reducing the risk of potential crashes along the road.
By implementing these traffic calming measures one can bring equilibrium among various modes of traffic with the reduced speeds of vehicles.
As the vehicular speed reduces for various modes and increases in bicycle trips and walking there can be significant savings in fuel content.
With the reduced speed of vehicles, they will generate fewer noise levels and overall air quality also will get improved.
Strict implementation of Traffic calming measures can lead to improved safety and reduce the no of accidents to a greater extent.
Traffic calming can be done in various methods based on the availability of space and geometric requirements. (2)
Rumble strips are V-shaped or rounded grooves made to the pavement surface in order to warn the drivers so that they are well aware of the road boundaries. They are one of the safety features of the road in which they create a small vibration or rumbling effect on the driver so that accidents can be avoided.
Speed humps are generally provided to reduce the incoming vehicle speeds near major conflict points and junctions. This will smoothen the traffic flow easily. Speed cushions are similar to speed humps only but have wheel-cut openings for the passing of large size vehicles like buses to pass easily. Various types of speed humps can be used in practice.
They are mentioned below: (3)
These are mainly used in urban streets and by using the alternate parking spaces, curb extensions, or edge islands to form an S-shaped path of travel which reduces the speed of oncoming vehicular traffic. Creating alternating mid-block curb extensions, will create extra turns for the vehicles and thus the manoeuvring speed will get reduced.
They are mainly used on junctions or nodes between Arterial roads and access roads connecting them. They work in a similar fashion to speed humps, but they have flat top ranges from 6-9 mts. At intersections or mid-blocks, if these are mixed with pedestrian crossings, they are called raised crossings.
These raised crossings are mainly used to reduce conflicts between various modes of traffic, pedestrians, and cyclists majorly at junctions, Entrances, Entry & Exit for service roads etc. to provide a smooth flow of traffic.
Gateway entry simply indicates the drivers that are now entering a buffer zone with lower speeds. This is mainly done at major junctions, school zones, hospital areas and highly crowded places etc. This can be achieved by putting traffic signages, speed tables, speed humps, curb extensions and raised crossings etc.
Midblock crossings are generally provided between two junctions to allow pedestrian movements in one place to avoid fatalities. These are most frequently mixed with central refuge islands so that they can accommodate the pedestrians and they can use the marked crosswalks or mid-block crossings when the signals (with Inductive loop detectors) allow them to do. (4).
Central refuge islands are generally raised islands placed in the middle of the street so that incoming traffic and the pedestrians get separated and the vehicles will get lesser road space for manoeuvring. For deciding the proper location for mid-block crossing some surveys should be conducted that cover details like traffic speeds, road width, desired lines for pedestrian movements and land use developments along the road.
After processing all the information areas that are having high chances for pedestrian movements are most like to be provided with mid-block crossings.
As per the guidelines of the government of India, the road speed limit in traffic calming zones range from about 25km/hr to 30km/hr, but it can be varied based on the specific locations and purposes that particular junction/node is serving.
Traffic calming measures are very much important in school zones and this can be achieved by providing various safety aspects like traffic signages, road markings, pathways, signals etc and are described below. (5)
Various measures that are to be implemented in hospital zones are described below:
High streets are basically the major streets of the town or Central Business Districts (CBD). As these are always crowded with people and huge volumes of traffic, various traffic calming measures should be taken in order to regularize the traffic flow and improve pedestrian safety.
They are described below.
There are various other aspects that involve measures for traffic calming and based on the purpose and requirement they can be used in different places.
I hope the blog provides you with adequate knowledge of Traffic Calming Measures and their associated features.
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(1) https://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/ped_bike/univcourse/pdf/swless11.pdf (2) https://globaldesigningcities.org/publication/global-street-design-guide/designing-streets-people/designing-for-motorists/traffic-calming-strategies/ (3) http://mohua.gov.in/upload/uploadfiles/files/Part_V_Traffic_Calming.pdf (4) https://michigancompletestreets.wordpress.com/2014/01/21/mid-block-pedestrian-crossings-explained/ (5) https://www.researchgate.net/publication/334173547_Traffic_Calming_In_The_Vicinity_Of_Schools
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