Traffic Management – 9 Simple Traffic Calming Steps

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Whether you work for a council or just manage the health and safety for a large company it’s important to understand the various different traffic management options, what they achieve and whether they would be suitable to your needs.

Speed Humps – these small bumps in the road have proved one of the most successful tools to manage traffic. They are effective at slowing down the speed of drivers and can be produced to suit most needs. The simplest solution is to produce the speed hump as part of the road surface though often high impact plastic speed humps can have a similar effect.

Speed Cushions – designed with the same intention as speed humps the cushions offer a greater flexibility. Their narrower shape allows wider wheelbase vehicles like fire engines and ambulances to be unaffected by their installation while still slowing down cars and other road users.

Chicanes – forcing drivers to alter their route, chicanes slow down drivers. They don’t have the same negative connotations as speed humps and don’t do the damage to a car that is often used as a criticism of speed humps. However the labour and plan required by chicanes can often cost a lot more.

Width Restrictions – working in a similar way you chicanes width restrictions encourage drivers to slow down. The other additional benefit to width restrictions as they can often be used to make it easier for pedestrians to cross the road. A great positive outcome of the traffic calming measure.

One Way Streets – limiting the direction of the flow of the traffic can have a real affect on congestion. Having a set route with only one direction tends to keep cars moving and it often tends to be safer than normal traffic. However signposting and signage is especially important to help avoid accidents and people getting lost.

Standard Roundabouts – a well placed round a bout can have a great traffic calming influence, it provides everyone with equal opportunity to make their exit and can avoid the traffic and accidents which are common on busy junctions.

Mini Roundabouts – working in much the same way as traditional roundabouts, mini offerings can do wonders for traffic and congestion management. They often don’t require the landscaping and restructuring of their bigger siblings but still achieve most of the desired safety benefits.

Kerb build outs – though you might not be familiar with kerb build outs by name they are becoming increasingly popular on the roads of the UK. This traffic calming measure works by building the kerb out into the roads. As this allows drivers emerging from junctions further into the road it improves they view and as a consequence have a drastic impact on accidents.

Traffic Islands – by placing an island between the lanes of traffic it enables pedestrians’ greater safety when crossing roads without pelican crossings. Another positive outcome of traffic islands is it discourages over taking in circumstances where it is unsafe.


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