Traffic Calming

TRAFFIC CALMING: The Institute of Transportation Engineers defines traffic calming as the combination of measures that reduce the negative effects of motor vehicle use, alter driver behavior, and improve conditions for non-motorized street users.  Traffic calming is typically accomplished through a combination of EDUCATION, ENFORCEMENT, and ENGINEERING.  Traffic Calming Flyer.pdf

EDUCATION:  Sharing information and raising awareness with drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists about the safest and best ways to share the road can be an effective approach to traffic calming, especially in school zones and neighborhoods with limited cut-through traffic. Examples of education programs include:

  • School-based awareness campaigns
  • Homeowners Association meetings
  • Informal discussions with neighbors
  • Temporary Radar Feedback Signs

ENFORCEMENT:   The California Highway Patrol (CHP) provides enforcement of traffic laws on County roadways.   You can report a traffic issue to CHP in one of two ways:

  1. By visiting the office nearest your location in person and detailing your traffic complaint to the watch officer.
  2. By calling the office nearest to the problem location via telephone, Monday through Friday 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM
  • Auburn:       9440 Indian Hill Road, Newcastle CA    (916) 663-3344
  • Gold Run:    50 Canyon Creek Road, Gold Run CA    (530) 388-9100
  • Truckee:    10475 Pioneer Trail, Truckee CA        (530) 563-9200

Additional information can be found here:  CHP Valley Division


ENGINEERING:  The NEIGHBORHOOD TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT PROGRAM (NTMP) provides guidance in selecting the most appropriate traffic calming measures for each specific situation and is designed to engage the community during the development of a traffic calming plan. Under the NTMP, Public Works engineers will work with a neighborhood’s residents and/or Homeowners Association to identify and implement engineering and education traffic calming measures. Funding for these measures may be requested from residents, see Cost section below. NTMP plans can include:Speed Feedback Sign

Non-Physical Measures increase driver awareness. Examples include signs, as well as centerline and edgeline lane striping, and can typically be implemented quickly and inexpensively.  Speed radar trailers can be set up temporarily (subject to availability), or radar feedback signs can be permanently installed, to help drivers become more aware of their speed.

Roadside Narrowing Measures are less obtrusive than other devices and can be more aesthetically pleasing if residents opt to fund upgraded landscaping.  Bulbouts and Center Islands are typical narrowing measures.

Horizontal Measures are more obtrusive but are also more effective than narrowing measures because vehicles are forced to navigate horizontally around physical objects. Traffic Circles are a common horizTraffic Calming Exampleontal traffic calming solution.

Vertical Measures provide the greatest speed reduction; however, they have the greatest potential to slow emergency response vehicles, buses and trucks.  Speed Humps are the most common vertical measure utilized in NTMP plans. 

The Neighborhood Traffic Management Program (NTMP) manual can be found here.

f you are interested in initiating the NEIGHBORHOOD TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT PROGRAM (NTMP) process:

  1. Contact the Department of Public Works to determine if your neighborhood is eligible for the program using the Contact Us options or Placer Connect.
  2. Submit an application to DPW, by mail or email, which includes:

a. A description of the location(s) and specific traffic concerns

b. A Petition Form [NTMP_petition.pdf] signed by at least 10 residents and/or property owners (from separate households) who support the request.

Once the County receives your NTMP application, a DPW engineer will review the submitted information and contact the applicant.  Please note, there is currently a waitlist to participate in the NTMP process.

Process: The NTMP process involves the following steps:

  • Plan Development: The County conducts a series of community meetings with residents to further understand the concerns, define the study area, and discuss potential solutions. The County will collect traffic data (traffic counts, speeds, cut-through traffic counts, etc.) and observe conditions. Based on the resident feedback and traffic data, the County will identify appropriate traffic calming measures and work with residents to identify potential locations. Residents must identify funding for the improvements. 
  • Plan Support: Once a draft plan is developed, the neighborhood must vote to implement the plan. The NTMP requires a minimum response rate of 50% of residents and a minimum approval rate of 67% to implement improvements.  
  • Plan Implementation: The traffic calming measures will be designed, constructed, and monitored for effectiveness.

Timeline:  Depending on staff availability, the number of on-going NTMP applications, and other factors, your NTMP request will be processed as soon as resources are available.  Depending on the magnitude of the request, this can take 6 to 9 months but, in general, previously completed applications have taken 1 to 3 years from initiation to implementation.

Cost:  The County will cover the cost of County staff time for each application, data collection (if needed), and any improvements that are considered standard County applications (signage, striping).  The cost of any additional measures – radar feedback signs, speed humps, etc. – are the responsibility of the neighborhood.  Typical costs associated with each type of traffic calming measure are included in the NTMP Manual.  The County recommends that each neighborhood discuss a funding strategy early in the process, so that calming measures can be implemented.

Implementation:  A traffic calming plan can be implemented if the neighborhood successfully completes the NTMP process, votes in favor of the plan, and are willing and able to fund the project.

TRANSPORTATION SAFETY

There are a number of traffic operational measures that are not considered to be traffic calming and therefore do not fall under the Neighborhood Traffic Management Program (NTMP).  Please visit the Transportation Safety page for additional information.