Research Reports

Investigating the Effects of Traffic Calming Strategies on Driver Behavior

Principal Investigator:

Kathleen A Harder, John T Carmody

January 2002

Report no. Mn/DOT 2002-20

Projects: Investigating the Effects of Traffic Calming Strategies on Driver Behavior

Topics: Planning, Safety, Traffic operations

In this project, researchers investigated whether the results obtained in a before-and-after traffic calming experiment conducted in a driver simulator paralleled a real world before-and-after traffic calming study. The project also involved determining whether or not targeted traffic calming strategies resulted in reduced driving speeds. The report details the results of two simulator experiments on traffic calming. The first experiment examined traffic calming devices already installed on the stretch of Franklin Avenue between Chicago Avenue and Hiawatha Avenue in Minneapolis. A parallel before-and-after study occurred on the actual roadway. The second experiment examined the effects on driver speed of adding median islands, chokers, and plantings in a residential environment. Taken together, the two experiments show that the use of median islands, chokers, and planters are likely to produce measurable reductions in traffic speed. The report recommends further research to discover how the specific placement or spacing of traffic calming elements would affect traffic speed. Further, the results obtained with the driving simulator parallel the direction of results obtained in the real world study of the urban environment of Franklin Avenue.

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