Traffic Calming

What is Traffic Calming?

Traffic calming is the practice of managing vehicular speeds and/or volumes of traffic on city streets using one or more approaches: increased police enforcement, education, or physical changes to the roadway. When it comes to traffic calming, it is important to understand that there are no “one-size-fits-all” solutions. Each of these approaches has its appropriate application, and combined they can help reduce speeding and unsafe driving practices.

Traffic Calming vs. Traffic Control
“Traffic control” is often confused with “traffic calming,” and it is important to understand that these two terms have very different roles for transportation planning and engineering. Unlike traffic calming, which emphasizes managing traffic speeds, traffic control primarily is concerned with managing traffic flow.  Stop signs are a good example of a traffic control device that is often confused as a traffic calming measure.  Stop signs are intended to assign the right-of-way among motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists at an intersection.  Although many citizens believe that stop signs help reduce speeds on their street, numerous studies have shown that speeds are as high or higher at mid-block than those locations without stop signs.  Also, the FHWA Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) states that “Stop signs should not be used for speed control."  Traffic control devices will generally not be included in a traffic calming implementation except for the purposes of prioritizing pedestrian crossings at intersections where high volumes exist.

Traffic Calming Improvements

The map below identifies various traffic calming treatments installed by the City of Asbury Park since 2017.

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