What is the Traffic Calming Program?
The Auburn Hills Traffic Calming Program was created to address neighborhood traffic safety concerns while enabling citizens and/or community groups to become actively involved in the improvement process. This program allows City staff and the community to work together to create safe and pleasant conditions in our residential areas for motorists, bicyclists, pedestrians and children.
What types of issues can the program address?
- Pedestrian safety
- Cut through traffic
- Sight distance
How does the program work?
The program is divided into three phases that must occur in order.
Phase I - Problem Identification/Informational Meeting
Phase I identifies the problem, provides for a complete explanation of the Traffic Calming Program, gains the support of a Core Group of residents, and collects benchmark data in the form of speed studies or other traffic engineering information.
Residents with a traffic safety concern can contact the City. In return they receive a Program Information Brochure and a Traffic Information Survey Form. Information in the brochure directs the resident to discuss traffic concerns with neighbors and/or the neighborhood association. If there is interest, the City hosts an information meeting to present the program.
From the informational meeting, a sub-group of residents or Core Group will be formed to work with the City to gather information. Speed studies will be performed at locations identified by the residents. In addition, traffic counts maybe taken and other operational areas studied. All of the data gathering will be done in partnership; City employees and resident volunteers working together. This information, jointly collected, will establish baseline data from which Phase II and Phase III of the program will stem.
Phase II - Education and Enforcement
Phase II is the development of an educational and enforcement plan. Based on the specific findings of the field review, an education and enforcement plan will be agreed upon. Past enforcement activities in the City have found that most violations of traffic ordinances within a residential area are the residents of that area. Therefore, much of the following activities will be directed towards neighbors and possibly friends.
Currently, two educational programs are in use. City staff and the Core Group will determine the extent to which each will be used. They are:
- The Neighborhood Traffic Safety Campaign
This involves the distribution of a brochure or letter describing the findings of the data collection, providing techniques that pedestrians and parents can use to create a safer neighborhood and encourage motorists to become better aware of their driving habits.
- Use of the Speed Monitoring Awareness Radar Trailer
This program consists of a portable, unmanned trailer equipped with radar speed detection equipment. The unit obtains speeds of oncoming vehicles and displays them on a digital display board visible to the passing motorist. The intent is to show motorists their actual travel speed. This program can be combined with Police Department enforcement activity.
The enforcement plan includes the selective enforcement of specific traffic controls and vehicle movements by our Police Department. Following current practice, the Core Group would identify specific time periods and locations from the collected data and field review that the Police will target for strict traffic ordinance enforcement. (i.e. Speeding, disobeying stop signs, improper parking, etc.)
After implementation of the education and enforcement measures, the effectiveness is monitored, measured, and re-evaluated. If the measures prove to be effective and the speeding situation is reduced, the Core Group will notify the neighborhood of their success and encourage the continuation of safe driving. If however, these measures prove ineffective, the location then qualifies for consideration of Phase III of the program.
Phase III - Engineering
Phase III involves the installation of actual physical speed control devices in the roadway. Because the devices are designed to make it less comfortable for the motorist to speed, it is extremely important that these devices only be installed after exhausting the alternatives provided in Phase I and II. Installation is determined by traffic engineering analysis and four main factors:
- Residential street must be functionally classified as a local roadway.
- 85th percentile speeds of 35 mph or greater.
- Topography (i.e. Hills and curves)
- Presence of existing traffic controls (i.e. Traffic signals, stop signs).
Proper engineering analysis and judgment must be included prior to installation of any physical devices. These devices can include, speed humps, traffic circles, slow points, entrance/exit barriers, pavement markings and traffic control signing.
Once the Core Group and City staff has determined the best traffic control plan, it is presented to residents at a community meeting. Input from the residents is incorporated into the plan. Neighborhood support is absolutely essential during the entire process, but especially if traffic control devices are to be installed. Before implementation, 75% support from residents on the segment of roadway being considered is required, through petitions. After petitions have been received and verified, the City Council will be notified of the recommended project. Funds can only be allocated based on acceptance by City Council, after review of budget limitations. Following this approval step, the device(s) will be designed and constructed.
How do we get started?
1. Identify traffic concerns in your neighborhood.
2. Discuss possible solutions with your neighbors and the neighborhood association.
3. Fill out the attached Traffic Information Survey (file size 83k) form and mail to the City's Engineering Division.
4. Attend the Informational Meeting to hear more about the Traffic Calming Program.
5. Form a Core Group of residents who will be advocates for the safety improvements.
We want to work with you and your neighbors to make your neighborhood streets safer. Please take the first step in achieving this by filling out the enclosed Traffic Information Survey (file size 83k) providing us with your concerns and indicating what solutions you feel would be appropriate for your neighborhood.