The City of Pleasanton Neighborhood Traffic Calming Program (NTCP) is designed to provide consistent, citywide policies to neighborhood traffic management and to ensure equitable and effective solutions to a variety of traffic concerns expressed by local residents.
The City receives numerous requests, complaints and suggestions from residents about traffic related issues. In many cases driver behavior – in the form of speeding or cut-through traffic - is the root cause of these complaints. Traditionally police enforcement has been successful in deterring speeding traffic. However, there is a high demand for enforcement all over the City and it is not efficient to conduct enforcement on low volume residential streets. Enforcement often works on a temporary basis, but there is a need for more permanent measures to reduce the speed of vehicles and discourage cut-through traffic on low volume residential streets.
Many communities in the Bay Area have adopted varying traffic calming programs in an attempt to reduce the speed of vehicles and discourage cut-through traffic on residential streets. The cities of Oakland and Fremont have developed speed hump programs, San Francisco and San Jose have implemented photo radar programs and Livermore has developed a comprehensive NTCP involving several types of physical devices.
In order to address the concerns of all of Pleasanton's neighborhoods, the City Council directed staff to develop a citywide NTCP.
The NTCP is based entirely on requests and concerns voiced by local residents. Traffic issues may be related to the larger neighborhood or may be very location specific. More localized (spot) concerns include vegetation obstructing drivers' view and additions or modifications to existing signs or markings. More complex, neighborhood-wide concerns are speeding or cut-through traffic on a long stretch of street or multiple streets. Each of these concerns will be analyzed by staff to determine if quick response or traffic calming prioritization is necessary.
When a resident(s) lodges a complaint with the City regarding speeding or high volumes on their street the following steps will be taken:
- Documentation of the residents concern, field investigation and data collection, if warranted.
- The responsible staff member will then make a determination as to action necessary if any. If it is determined that a significant speeding problem does exist, the following possible actions may be taken at this point:
Increased Speed Enforcement: This can include the use of the speed trailer to raise driver awareness of speed limits and targeted enforcement to address those times when significant speed limit violations occur.
Permanent Speed Limit Sign Installation: Speed limit signs may be installed if they aid in increasing driver awareness of speed limits.
Deployment of Neighborhood Speed Limit Awareness Signs: These are high quality paper signs with unique messages and graphics that can be mounted on garbage cans by residents to raise driver awareness. The program requires the involvement of several neighbors who will be given 3-4 signs each and would rotate signs on their garbage cans to keep the message fresh.
Neighborhood Speed Watch Program: This program can involve neighborhood flyers alerting residents to their neighbors' concerns about speeding, neighborhood speed limit awareness signs (discussed above), and a radar speed check program. The radar speed check program would require residents to monitor speeds using radar equipment. The owner of vehicles that were recorded at unlawful speeds would be sent a letter asking them to obey the posted speed limits. No citations would be issued, and there would be no confrontation of drivers by residents.
|Traffic Calming Prioritization
If routine procedures cannot resolve the problems and they require non-routine measures or affect multiple streets, the requested street may be added to the annual traffic calming request list. In late May of each year, the streets listed on the traffic calming priority list will be analyzed and prioritized using existing traffic volumes and speeds, accident history, pedestrian generating land uses and the amount of fronting homes. The goal of the prioritization program is to impartially analyze each street and identify the street with the most need for traffic calming devices.
Some streets will not meet the minimum traffic calming volume or speed thresholds and will be eliminated from the traffic calming program entirely. The remaining streets will then be ranked. Typically one street is fully funded through the NTCP. Streets that meet the minimum volume and speed thresholds that do not qualify for traffic calming may choose to fund traffic calming devices themselves.
After the highest ranking street is identified, a neighborhood planning process is initiated. Since traffic calming devices impact the whole neighborhood, and can be quite expensive, it is necessary to determine that there is adequate support for the process before beginning (support must be obtained from more than fifty percent of the neighborhood).
raffic Calming Plan
City staff will develop a traffic calming plan for the neighborhood based on the information gathered at the initial meeting and general direction given by the steering committee (comprised of a group of residents from the neighborhood) and other stakeholders.
The traffic calming plan may include some of the following elements:
- Horizontal shift and constriction devices such as medians, traffic circles, chokers and chicanes.
- Vertical deflection devices such as speed lumps.
- Diverters, street closures, and turn restrictions.
Once the neighborhood approves the plan work will be scheduled. After the project is completed there will be a thorough analysis of its effectiveness.
To read the NTCP in its entirety click here.