What is a Neighborhood Traffic Management Plan?
The City of Woodland Neighborhood Traffic Management Program is an attempt to reduce the negative aspects of traffic (volumes, speeds, and/or accidents) in residential neighborhoods by preparing a Neighborhood Traffic Management Plan that would implement traffic calming measures. The goal of a Neighborhood Traffic Management Plan is to achieve consensus on what traffic calming measures should be taken on a street.
Traffic calming measures can sometimes be controversial within a neighborhood. This is because traffic calming measures also have negative impacts. Possible negative impacts include, but are not limited to, loss of on-street parking, less convenient access, and increased traffic levels on adjacent streets. A Neighborhood Traffic Management Plan will attempt to balance the negative impacts with the desired objectives of the traffic calming program.
What is Traffic Calming?
Traffic calming is a strategy intended to reduce the impact of motor vehicle traffic on a City street. Usually this strategy is implemented in residential areas. Traffic calming measures can be any combination of roadway modifications, planning features, or traffic control devices that are intended to slow cars down or lower the volume of traffic.
There are three levels of traffic calming: (1) Education and Enforcement, (2) Passive Measures, and (3) Active Measures.
1. Education and Enforcement seeks to reduce speeds through increased neighborhood awareness.
2. Passive Measures are signing and striping effects that are intended to influence speed or volumes. Regulatory signs, landscape, and pavement markings are passive measures.
3. Active Measures are physical changes to a roadway. Examples of active measures include speed humps and road closures.
What is the City Policy Regarding Traffic Calming?
As part of the implementation of the 1996 General Plan, the City has developed a process and a program for the use of traffic calming measurements in both new and existing development areas. On March 16, 1999, the City Council adopted the proposed Neighborhood Traffic Management Program Development Report as a guideline for the installation of traffic calming measures in both new and existing areas. Emergency vehicles can be delayed by traffic calming, therefore, the City has collector streets and arterial roads not suitable for any measures and others not suitable for speed humps.
How Do I Get Traffic Calming Measures Installed on My Street?
The City has adopted a multi-step process for the construction of traffic calming features on a public street. Briefly, these steps are as follows:
1. Petition to have the City conduct a warrant analysis (to be signed by 20% of the residents on a defined segment of road).
2. A warrant analysis of vehicle speeds, volumes, and land use will determine whether the street qualifies for either active or passive measures.
3. Locations qualifying for passive measures will be studied and suggested measures will be brought before the Traffic Safety Commission and City Council for approval.
4. Locations qualifying for active traffic calming measures will require the preparation of a Neighborhood Traffic Management Plan and adoption of the project by the Traffic Safety Commission and City Council.
5. Prior to the preparation of a Neighborhood Traffic Management Plan, a 60% petition is required (for active calming measures only).
6. Preparation of a Neighborhood Traffic Management Plan by the City.
7. Confirmation/Protest hearing.
8. Council approval.
9. Funding allocation (Dependent on available resources and City Council prioritization)