Investigating the Effects of Traffic Calming Strategies on Driver Behavior

Principal Investigator(s):

John Carmody, Director Campus/College level, Center for Sustainable Building Research


Project summary:

There is a desire to "calm" or slow down traffic on various types of roads to improve safety and to enhance to pedestrian environment. Recently, traffic-calming strategies have been suggested for major collector and minor arterial streets in a number of Minnesota communities. On these types of roads, there are few traffic calming precedents and some inherent problems since traffic calming may interfere with the basic function of carrying a certain traffic volume. In some communities, strategies are being explored and implemented such as adjustments to road width, and the introduction of medians or traffic islands at intersections. The goal of this project is to provide more information on the design and effectiveness of these strategies. This project proposes to use the wrap-around driving simulator at the Human Factors Research Laboratory at the University of Minnesota to systematically evaluate the impact of these strategies. The driving behavior of the subjects (i.e. speed, braking, roadway alignment) is recorded so that the influence of different settings and strategies can be determined and analyzed. This project will be done in close collaboration with another study, Investigating the Effectiveness of Traffic Calming Strategies on Driver Behavior, Traffic Flow and Speed, by SRF Consulting Group.

Project details:

  • Project number: 1997006
  • Start date: 06/1998
  • Project status: Completed
  • Research area: Transportation Safety and Traffic Flow
  • Topics: Planning, Safety, Traffic operations