Traffic calming is a plan to reduce the effect of traffic on local streets. While traffic calming has its benefits, it is not the answer to all local traffic problems.
Traffic calming cannot:
- remove all through traffic;
- eliminate hoon-like behaviour;
- prevent traffic accidents;
- prevent drivers from speeding;
- solve parking problems.
Council has an objective method of assessing and prioritising traffic calming requests.
In many cases where speed is seen to be an issue, the real problem is driver behaviour. This is best addressed through law enforcement, not changing the road's design. Not all streets are suitable for traffic calming and it is expensive to install. It can create additional noise and disrupt the flow of traffic, and may simply redirect the problem (speeding drivers) to another nearby street.
Council sets an amount in its yearly budget for traffic calming and the number of projects completed depends on this level of funding.
When Council receives a request for new traffic calming, it uses an objective method to assess and prioritise traffic calming requests by evaluating 10 key weighted criteria. These include traffic volume, type and speed, the street's accident history (using Police records), road type, the level and nature of pedestrian activity, bus routes and road geometry.
If, after these assessments, the street is considered suitable, officers consider the best type of calming device, produce a detailed design and inform local residents. A submission is then made to Council to seek the necessary funding.