Traffic Calming

Traffic Calming is the combination of mainly physical measures that reduce the negative effects of motor vehicle use, alter driver behavior and improve conditions for non-motorized street users.1

Traffic calming goals include:

  • increasing the quality of life;
  • incorporating the preferences and requirements of the people using the area (e.g., working, playing, residing) along the street(s), or at intersection(s);
  • creating safe and attractive streets;
  • helping to reduce the negative effects of motor vehicles on the environment (e.g., pollution, sprawl); and
  • promoting pedestrian, cycle and transit use.1

Traffic calming objectives include:

  • achieving slow speeds for motor vehicles,
  • reducing collision frequency and severity,
  • increasing the safety and the perception of safety for non-motorized users of the street(s),
  • reducing the need for police enforcement,
  • enhancing the street environment (e.g., street scaping),
  • encouraging water infiltration into the ground,
  • increasing access for all modes of transportation, and
  • reducing cut-through motor vehicle traffic.1

1Lockwood, Ian. ITE Traffic Calming Definition. ITE Journal, July 1997, pg. 22.

This Traffic Calming Web site was developed by the Institute of Transportation Engineers with financial support from the Federal Highway Administration in the interest of information exchange. The contents should not be construed as an endorsement.  The United States Government assumes no liability for its contents or use thereof.