Neighborhood Street Calming

Neighborhood Street Calming Program

The Neighborhood Street Calming Program is a cooperative effort by the City government and residents. It aims to provide safe, sensitive and effective solutions to documented problems or deficiencies in the neighborhood street system without creating an adverse impact on the surrounding areas and Through Street System.

Techniques

The two most commonly used techniques in Cincinnati are speed humps and corner bump-outs.

A "speed hump" is a slightly raised section of roadway that is typically 22 inches long and 2 feet from curbs. The first 6 feet slope upwards 3 inches, the next 10 feet is level, and the last 6 feet slope downward from 3 inches to the street level.

Speed humps are installed at regular intervals, 300 to 500 feet apart; but not in front of driveways, on top of manhole covers, on curved sections of roadway, within 100 feet of intersecting streets, or on streets with a 7% grade or greater. If vehicles exceed the 25-mph speed limit at the speed hump, the motorist will encounter an uncomfortable ride.

It has been documented that a series of speed humps have been effective in controlling vehicle speeds and have resulted in a general reduction in cut-through traffic. This is a positive effect of speed humps. A negative aspect is the increased emergency response time by fire equipment and ambulances by as much as 20-30 seconds passing over each speed hump.

A "corner bump-out" is a 6-inch raised concrete curb extending out into the street filled with dirt for plantings at the corner of an intersection. The bump-out extends nearly halfway into the intersecting side street and allows for ingress only or for egress only -- no two-way movement through the narrowed section.

In effect, vehicles can only enter or exit the street at the intersection thereby reducing traffic on that street. This is a positive effect of bump-outs. A negative aspect is the single entry or exit point at one end of the street for local residents, plus loss of on-street parking at the bump-out.

Process

  1. Citizen and/or community group requests street calming through written correspondence, phone, or e-mail.
  2. City staff sends NSCP booklet with cover letter, and requests a petition (50 percent) from residences (housing units) on this affected street.
  3. Citizen(s) notifies their affected community group and gathers signatures for a petition and returns to City staff.
  4. City staff verifies the petition, notifies citizen, and coordinates traffic studies (speeds, accidents, volume).
  5. City staff notifies the Fire Department for their input into potential changes on the affected streets.
  6. City staff analyzes data, prioritizes street citywide, and notifies citizen (and community council).
  7. If necessary, City staff consults with the citizen and the affected community group to receive their input on the selected traffic calming method and to receive approval.
  8. City staff prepares post card survey and sends to directly affected residents (may include other adjoining/intersecting streets).
  9. City staff receives post cards (at least 60 percent return) and verifies for consensus (70 percent) of those post cards returned.
  10. City staff notifies the residents (and community council) through written correspondence with survey results.
  11. City staff prepares written report to City Council.