Columbus Consolidated Government
Neighborhood Traffic Calming Policy


What Does Neighborhood Traffic Calming Mean:
The term “Neighborhood Traffic Calming” is used to describe ways to control the flow of vehicular traffic through neighborhoods in such a way as to not disrupt the normal serenity of the neighborhood. Normally Traffic Calming will be applied to address excess volume or speed within or through a neighborhood. Increased volume and increase speed can lead to more dangerous, less pleasant streets and discourage their use by bicyclists and pedestrians. Neighborhood Traffic Calming seeks to provide an atmosphere where automobiles, pedestrians, and bicyclist can safely share the roadways.

Goals of Traffic Calming:
Traffic Calming is the implementation of measures including Driver Education, Enforcement and Structural measures or any combination of these elements to bring about a favorable change in the behavior of the motorist along a particular section of roadway. Traffic Calming measures will be applied to some extent to any street that exhibits a problem, however arterial and collector streets are not usually considered appropriate for Structural Traffic Calming measures.

Interim or First Response Measures:
When Traffic Calming may be warranted or and conditions may be change by other than construction of Traffic Calming measures, the following plans of action may be implemented. If they bring about the desired results then no further measures will be needed. These measures may be considered prior to the receipt of the “Initial Interest Petition” or used after the petition is returned to the Traffic Engineering Division, at the discretion of the City.

Non-Qualifying Streets for a Traffic Study:
While the focus of installing structural Traffic Calming measures will be primarily on local streets, some local streets will not qualify for Traffic Studies. In order to be considered for a Traffic Study streets must meet a minimum criteria listed below:
The Traffic Engineering Division will validate the signatures on the petition and schedule the study. If there are discrepancies the requestor may be contacted for clarification. If sufficient signatures are not obtained the petitioner will be notified and the request closed. A new request may be submitted after a 12 month waiting period. IV. TRAFFIC STUDY V. EVALUATION OF STUDY
When a Traffic Study shows the need for Traffic Calming measures to be installed, the Traffic Engineering Division will design suitable measures to accomplish Traffic Calming. The Criteria in the in Table 1 will be used to set priorities in choosing streets where Traffic Calming measures will be constructed.

Table 1
Priority Criteria to Rank Streets Needing Traffic Calming
CriteriaBasis for Point Assignment
SpeedSpeeds 10 mph above posted speed limit (assign 5 points for every 1 mph)
VolumeAverage daily traffic volumes (1 point assigned for every 100 vehicles)
Accident HistoryAccidents per mile of roadway (assign 2 points per accident, per mile of roadway within the past 3 years of accident history)
The need to set priorities is extremely important since the placement of all Traffic Calming measures will be dependant upon the yearly funds allotted in the budget process. Therefore setting priorities using the numerical value system will insure that areas with the greatest need are considered first.

The petitioner is notified of the results of the Traffic Study. If Traffic Calming is warranted, a public meeting will be scheduled to present the designed Traffic Calming Plan. At that meeting, the petitioner will be given a copy of the plan and a “Petition for Traffic Calming” to begin circulating. The petition must be signed and filled out by PROPERTY OWNERS. A minimum of 65% of the property owners within the affected area must sign the petition in favor of the traffic calming measures proposed.

The Petition for Traffic Calming will be given the petitioner for circulation. The petition must be returned to the Traffic Engineering Division within 45 days of the public meeting.

During this 45 day time frame the citizens will have the opportunity to request, in writing, changes and or additions / deletions to the proposed Traffic Calming Plan. If the changes can be accommodated and still accomplish the goal of Traffic Calming the City Staff will consider the requested changes.

Should the Petition for “ Traffic Calming” fail by not getting the required 65% of the property owners to sign the petition, the request is considered closed. City Staff will not consider a new request no sooner than 12 months from the time of closure.

Once permanent Traffic Calming measures are approved by the residents and installed by the City, they will not be removed for any reason until they remain installed for a period of not less than 12 months, unless circumstances dictate or it becomes in the best interest of the City. Should citizens wish to have Traffic Calming measures removed from a street after they have been in place for 12 months, a “Petition to Remove a Traffic Calming Measure” must be presented to the Traffic Engineering Division. The “Petition for Removal of a Traffic Calming Measure” must contain signatures from a minimum of 65% of the property owners in the affected area. The affected is defined as the same area required for installation of traffic calming measures.

X. FUNDING - The funding is limited and established each budget year by the action of the Council of Columbus. If funding is not available the project may be rejected or placed on hold until such time as funding becomes available. XI. OTHER CITY DEPARTMENTS - Public Safety and Public Services Departments will provide input into design of any Structural Traffic Calming Device. Structural Traffic Calming Devices will require funding approval by City Council.