Traffic Calming

While the city should continue to encourage the efficient flow of traffic on city streets, managing traffic to improve the quality of life on residential streets should be pursued as well. The city has already taken measures around Keene State College to slow traffic along Winchester Street at major pedestrian crossings with the construction of raised and lighted crosswalks. The city has also utilized stamped concrete and other crosswalk patterns to indicate crossing areas throughout downtown, as well as roundabouts to slow traffic and ease congestion.

Traffic-calming measures help improve livability of a place through inexpensive and flexible means. Strategies include raised medians, use of bollards and planters, bulb-outs, chokers, neckdowns, roundabouts and traffic circles, widening of sidewalks and narrowing of streets, diagonal parking, surface treatments, or the use of speed tables, road humps, and cushions.

Correctly applied, all of these can help test measures in different combinations and locations, fine-tuning the mix until the desired result is achieved. Some of these measures contribute to other community goals, such as combining traffic calming with innovative stormwater management techniques in urban street rain gardens or bio-swales, or reducing a community’s emissions by encouraging walking and bicycling instead of vehicle trips.