Neighborhood Traffic Calming Manual

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1 Neighborhood Traffic Calming Manual Public Works Department Traffic Engineering

2 Hillsborough County Neighborhood Traffic Calming Manual Hillsborough County Public Works Department County Center 601 East Kennedy, 23rd floor Tampa, Florida, Phone: (813) January 16, 2003

3 Table of Contents Section Subject Page Introduction What Roads are Covered in this Program? Who Pays for Calming Measures? Traffic Calming Measures Standard Procedure for Implementation 3 of Traffic Calming Measures Step 1: Initiation 4 Step 2: Eligibility and Priority 4 Step 3: Initial Public Meeting Neighborhood Input 7 Step 4: Hearing Master Preliminary Analysis 8 Step 5: Follow Up Public Meeting(s) 9 Alternatives/Public Response Step 6: Hearing Master Recommendation of Traffic 9 Calming Measures and Designation of Petition Area Step 7: Petition 10 Step 8: Project Implementation Removal of Speed and Volume Traffic Calming Measures Emergency Procedures Who Do I Call For Help? 13

4 Introduction Your Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) is aware that speeding and excessive traffic volume are two of the most common Neighborhood traffic complaints reported to local law enforcement and traffic engineering officials. Development in certain Hillsborough County areas has drastically increased the number of vehicles on the roads during peak commuter hours. Frustrated commuters often resort to cutting through communities to bypass congested highways or overloaded intersections. Usually in a hurry to get to work or home, commuters often ignore Neighborhood speed limits. The result is an everincreasing number of concerns from Neighborhood areas over safety and quality of life issues. Residents who live in these communities perceive a danger to children playing outdoors, while others fear increased auto exhaust pollution, road noise, crime or hazards to walkers, joggers and bicycle riders. Such concerns can lead neighborhoods to organize in an effort to convince elected officials to take action to alleviate these situations. The purpose of this manual is to present ways in which residents can find solutions to Neighborhood traffic problems as approved by the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners. Consideration is given to a variety of Neighborhood traffic concerns and to the characteristics of these concerns on a case-by-case basis. Each situation is reviewed with respect to the available traffic calming measures that have been, or could be, found effective to alleviate the neighborhood traffic concern. The remainder of this manual outlines these guidelines and procedures which can be used to develop the optimum solution or solutions to each particular situation. There are many factors taken into consideration when reviewing Neighborhood traffic concerns, to determine the most feasible traffic calming measure. These factors may include: the surrounding roadway network, resident access, speeds and/or volume of traffic, crash history, pedestrian facilities and construction in the nearby area. 1

5 1.0 What Roads Are Covered In This Program? The calming measures provided in this manual are specifically designed for neighborhood roads and streets that are classified as Local, Collector and Minor Arterial roads or streets. Note: Neighborhood roads and/or streets which are classified as Local will be considered for calming under the guidelines of this program, if they are included in a comprehensive neighborhood traffic calming study. If requests for traffic calming features are made for a single local road, they will be deferred to the Residential Traffic Calming (RTC) program for consideration. By definition, a collector road s main purpose is to draw the traffic from nearby Neighborhood roads and streets in order to provide access to another collector or arterial roadway. In many cases, collector roads serve as primary access to Neighborhood areas for emergency vehicles. A minor arterial is that part of the roadway system serving as the principal network for through traffic flow. The routes connect areas of principal traffic generation and important rural highways entering the city. Surrounding land use must be zoned primarily residential in order for roads to be considered for the NTC. 2.0 Who Pays for Calming Measures? Roadway changes intended to reduce speeding and/or discourage non-local motorists can result in costly construction. The Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners establishes an annual budget for the purpose of Neighborhood Traffic Calming (NTC). Candidate, prioritized locations will be submitted to the BOCC each fiscal year for implementation/approval. One component of the prioritization will be private participation in NTC projects. This participation may be from individuals, groups, home owners associations or special dependant taxing districts. If no participation is pursued, then the participation component of the prioritization process will be scored as zero and the project will be totally funded by the county. 2

6 3.0 Traffic Calming Measures Appendix A contains Traffic Calming measures that may be recommended by the Hearing Master for projects under the NTC program. Additional Traffic Calming measure such as roundabouts, traffic circles, painted lane narrowing, speed indication signs and reduction in the number of through lanes may also be considered. A reduction in the number of through lanes may be considered only if the Level of Service (L.O.S.) and travel time are not adversely affected. See Appendix A for the following Traffic Calming index drawings: Index Description 010 Standard Speed Hump 020 Standard Speed Table 030 Narrowed Speed Hump/Table 040 Chicane 050 Intersection Throat 060 Half Closure (Local roads only) 070 Street Narrowing 080 Cross walk Enhancements Other traffic calming measures may be installed on a temporary basis at the discretion of the Hearing Master. The objective of such an installation in a Neighborhood would be to test the effectiveness and demonstrate the benefit of the traffic calming measure. The use of other measures also may be advantageous when budget constraints prevent the installation of the permanent device. 4.0 Standard Procedure for Implementation of Traffic Calming Measures Following are the procedures for implementation of traffic calming option(s). Step 1: Initiation Step 2: Eligibility and Priority Step 3: Initial Public Meeting Neighborhood Input Step 4: Hearing Master Preliminary Analysis Step 5: Follow Up Public Meeting(s) Alternatives/public response Step 6: Hearing Master Recommendation of Traffic Calming Measures and Designation of Petition Area Step 7: Petition Step 8: Project Implementation 3

7 Step 1: Initiation Traffic Calming Measures can be requested by any of the following groups: Residents (A minimum of ten signatures from the owners of ten separate properties in the neighborhood will be required before the project can be considered for the NTC program) Homeowners Association Special Dependant Tax District The group initiating the request will designate a contact person at the time the request is made to the county. The request should include the roadway name and the perceived problem(s). A Neighborhood Traffic Calming Program Entry request form is included in Appendix B. Step 2: Eligibility and Priority Project requests from step 1 will be evaluated to determine if the project is eligible for the NTC program. For eligible projects, a determination of the primary street segment(s) where traffic calming measures might be placed will be made. The project limits or project area will be defined. Projects will then be ranked based on the 100 point system, with points rounded to whole numbers, and following criteria: 85 th Percentile Speed - The 85th percentile speed represents the speed at, or below which, 85 percent of the free flowing vehicles are traveling. Points will be assigned based on the difference between the posted speed limit and the 85 th Percentile speed as follows: 0 points, less than or equal to 5 mph 10 points, greater than 5 mph and less than or equal to 10 mph 20 points, greater than 10 mph and less than or equal to 15 mph 30 points, greater than 15 mph and less than or equal to 20 mph 40 points, greater than 20 mph Maximum points = 40 4

8 Residential Access Requires the presence of residential property (ies) with direct frontage and driveway access to the roadway being considered for calming. Points will be assigned as follows: 0 points, no driveway connections within project limits. 5 points, some driveway connections within project limits. 10 points, continuous driveway connections on both sides of the roadway throughout project limits. Maximum points = 10 Community Funding Participation If primary street residents or property owners within the project area desire to participate in the funding of the project, they will be responsible to determine how to collect the funds and enter into a Joint Project Agreement (JPA) with the County. Any number of residents and/or property owners can contribute (all funding could even be provided by just a single resident), and residents will be solely responsible for amassing the required amount before presenting the request to the county. Points will be assigned as follows: 0 points, no participation 5 points, participation ($50,000 commitment or a commitment 50% of the estimated project cost as determined by the county) 10 points, participation ($100,000 commitment or a commitment 100% of the estimated project cost as determined by the county) Maximum points = 10 3 Year Crash Data Crash history for the last 3 year period on record with the county will be considered. Crashes not solvable by traffic calming will usually not be considered. Points will be assigned as follows: 0 points, 0 accidents per 1,000,000 vehicles 5 points, 5 accidents per 1,000,000 vehicles 10 points, 10 accidents per 1,000,000 vehicles Maximum points = 10 5

9 Trip Generators Pedestrian trip generators for public facilities within 1,000 feet of the roadway or project area will be considered. The following will be considered Pedestrian Trip Generators: senior citizen facilities, libraries, parks, community centers, schools and other sites with significant pedestrian activity. Pedestrian crossings will be defined as dedicated mid-block pedestrian crossings that are present within the roadway under consideration. Points will be assigned as follows: 0 points, No generator(s) or crossing(s) 4 points, High School(s), Park(s), or other generator(s) 6 points, High School(s), Park(s), or other generator(s) and pedestrian crossing(s) 8 points, Middle or Elementary School(s) 10 points, Middle or Elementary School(s) and pedestrian crossing(s) Maximum points = 10 Absence of Pedestrian Facilities Consideration will be given for the absence of sidewalks or discontinuous sidewalks throughout the project limits. Points will be assigned as follows: 0 points, if sidewalks are present and continuous on both sides of the street throughout the project limits. 5 points, if sidewalks are discontinuous or do not exist on one side of the street throughout the project limits. 10 points, if sidewalks are discontinuous or do not exist on both sides of the street throughout the project limits. Maximum points = 10 Volume Will be defined as the percent of the Daily Peak Volume compared to the Average Daily Traffic (ADT) volume within the project limits. Points will be assigned as follows: 0 points, Peak is less than 10% of ADT volume 5 points, Peak is equal to or greater than 10% of ADT volume Maximum points = 5 6

10 Bikeway Bikeways shall be defined as a portion of the roadway designated for the preferential or exclusive use of bicyclists by striping, signing and/or pavement markings or designated in the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) comprehensive bike plan. Points will be assigned as follows: 0 points, no existing or planned bikeway(s) 5 points, existing or planned bikeway(s) Maximum points = 5 The prioritization process will occur once a year. Total scores that are equal will be ranked by the initiation date of the project. Those candidate locations that failed to reach implementation will remain at the top of the prioritization list for the following year. All candidate locations identified and requested in the following year shall be prioritized and ranked below the previous years candidate projects. A matrix depicting the prioritization criteria is included in Appendix C. Step 3: Initial Public Meeting Neighborhood Input Notice of Public Meeting Residents within the community where proposed traffic calming measures are being considered will be given notice of a Public Meeting. In accordance with the "Neighborhood Bill of Rights", methods of notification will include: Placards - Notice of Public Meeting signs will be posted at least 20 days before the hearing at strategic sites within the neighborhood. Newspaper Advertisement - Notice will be published in a local newspaper by the County s Public Information Office. The following methods of notice may also be used: News Releases - A news release of public meetings will be provided to the local media two weeks prior to the Public Meeting. Flyers - "What's Happening In Your Neighborhood" may be distributed by staff to residents on subject travel route. 7

11 Informational pamphlets setting forth the advantages and disadvantages of speed humps may be distributed and are available through the County staff. Television - Advertisement on the Government Access Television Channel. Any resident who is unable to attend a scheduled Public Meeting may submit his or her comments in writing to staff of the NTC Program Manager at any time prior to or during the Public Meeting, and those comments will be considered by the Hearing Master in making his recommendation. Purpose of Public Meeting An initial meeting will be held with residents, business and property owners and other neighborhood representatives. The purpose of the meeting is to seek input on the neighborhood s traffic issue(s). Using input received from the public meeting and the standard traffic calming indexes, the hearing master will prepare a draft plan to address the neighborhood s traffic issues(s). A minimum of one follow-up Public Meeting will be held to present the hearing master s draft plan and to receive additional public comments. Step 4: Hearing Master Preliminary Analysis The Hearing Master may analyze traffic data, field information and other available information pertaining to the particular area of concern prior to the second Public Meeting. The Hearing Master may request that additional traffic studies be conducted by staff on nearby roads and streets, if determined that those roads and streets may potentially be impacted by the installation of traffic calming measures. A traffic study may include any or all of the following, depending on the scope of the concern. Traffic conditions at the location Existing traffic signs and pavement markings Motorists travel patterns Effect of the roadway system in the vicinity Construction in the nearby area Traffic or roadway plans for the vicinity and contributing roadway system Time of day, day of week relationship Apparent causes of concern 8

12 History of the location Determination of roadway classification (local, collector or arterial) Video tape location Emergency and Service Bureau concerns Traffic studies may be necessary to determine the following information 24-hour traffic count to determine the average daily traffic (ADT) Vehicle speed check to determine the 85 th percentile speed Vehicle turning movement counts Origination/Destination study Pedestrian counts Crash Data report summary Collision diagram studies Notification to other Agencies The following agencies will be notified that traffic calming measures are being considered, and their comment and input will be requested. This notification will be performed before the initial Public Meeting and after the final Public Meeting. The second notification will provide more detailed plans for implementation of traffic calming measures. Fire Rescue Sheriff s Office School Board Hartline Planning and Growth Management Step 5: Follow Up Public Meeting(s) Alternatives/public response Purpose of Public Meeting A follow up Public Meeting(s) will be conducted by the Hearing Master to present options for traffic calming measures and to obtain input from the public on those options. Residents of nearby roads and streets which are impacted as a result of the proposed traffic calming measures shall also be given the opportunity to request traffic calming measures on those roads and streets. Step 6: Hearing Master Recommendation of Traffic Calming Measures and Designation of Petition Area Based upon the information provided by staff, Hearing Master field observations and input received from the public in writing and at the Public 9

13 Meeting(s), the Hearing Master will make a recommendation. The Hearing Master will recommend the type, number and location of traffic calming measures. The Hearing Master will also determine the Area of residents for petition purposes. The Petition Area is those residents affected by the adverse effects of excessive speeding and traffic volume. The Hearing Master will set forth the basis for the determination of the Petition Area in a recommendation to the BOCC. Temporary traffic calming measures may be recommended at the discretion of the Hearing Master. Such devices shall be in place for a minimum or 90 days to a maximum of 180 days. The objective of such an installation in a Neighborhood community would be to test the effectiveness and demonstrate the benefit of the traffic calming measure. The use of temporary devices also may be advantageous when budget constraints delay the installation of the permanent device. Step 7: Petition A petition form to obtain the required consensus for the recommended calming measure will be issued by the NTC Program Manager to the person initiating the request (contact person). The contact person will receive a map highlighting the area to be petitioned. The location of the proposed traffic calming measures will be illustrated on the petition. The contact person is responsible for distributing the petition to obtain the required signatures of property owners in the area. Petition Signature Requirements The contact person is required to obtain signatures of 90% of all property owners in the petition area for or against consideration of traffic calming measures. If, after diligent effort, the contact person cannot obtain the required amount of signatures as previously stated, the contact person may be allowed to achieve this goal through an alternative method. This alternative method must be approved by staff and shall adhere to the following procedures: A United States Post Office certified letter must be mailed to the remaining property owners in the petition area by the contact person. This certified letter shall contain the petition issued and a memo provided by staff explaining the NTC process. Each property within the petition area shall be counted as one vote, regardless of the number of owners per property. In the case of multiple 10

14 owners, only one vote shall be counted for those multiple ownerships. A minimum of 75% for calming measures of the property owners within the petition area must be in favor of the proposed traffic calming measures before they can be considered for approval by the Board of County Commissioners. A simple majority (greater than 50% affirmative vote) of the BOCC is required for implementation of Neighborhood traffic calming measures. If, after diligent effort, the contact person cannot obtain the required amount of signatures as previously stated, the contact person may be allowed to achieve this goal through an alternative method. The contact person has 90 days to return completed petition forms. Petitions not received within the 90 day period will be deemed null and no further action will be taken. Prior to the expiration of the initial 90 day period, a one-time extension of the 90 days may be granted in writing by the Director of the Public Works Traffic Division. However, in no case will petitions be accepted later than 180 days from the beginning of the initial signature period. Positive identification may be required at the time of signature of the petition. Signatures are final and may not be added or removed from a petition once the petition has been received by the NTC Program Manager. If a location fails to achieve the necessary petition percentage within the signature period, the location shall not be reconsidered for a period of three years from the date the signature period expires. Step 8: Project Implementation Upon receipt of a petition with the required minimum percentage of affirmative signatures, the Hearing Master's recommendation will be scheduled for BOCC approval as a consent agenda item at a regularly scheduled BOCC Land-Use Meeting. An evening BOCC meeting may be scheduled only if there is a clear indication of significant opposition to the Hearing Master's recommendation by residents in the petition area, or if a member of the BOCC removes the action from the consent agenda. 5.0 Removal of Speed and Volume Traffic Calming Measures A petition for the removal of traffic calming measures may be accepted provided that the following conditions are met: A. The traffic calming measure to be removed must be in place for a minimum of a three-year period. 11

15 B. A request for a removal petition must be signed by the owners of ten separate properties in the petition area. C. The Hearing Master's recommendations must be in favor of the removal of the traffic calming measures. D. The new petition must include the same petition area as the original. The contact person has 90 days to return completed petition forms. Petitions not received within the 90 day period will be deemed null and no further action will be taken. Prior to the expiration of the initial 90 day period, a one-time extension of the 90 days may be granted in writing by the Director of the Public Works Traffic Division. However, in no case will petitions be accepted later than 180 days from the beginning of the initial signature period. Positive identification may be required at the time of signature of the petition. Signatures are final and may not be added or removed from a petition once the petition has been received by County staff. E. Approval of 75 percent for traffic calming measures of the property owners in the original petition area is required for consideration by the BOCC for removal of traffic calming measures. If a location fails to achieve the necessary removal petition majority within the signature period, the location shall not be reconsidered for a period of three years from the date the signature period expires. Any funding participation cannot be reimbursed should the devices be removed. Approval to remove traffic calming measures will require a minimum of 5 out of 7 votes of the BOCC in favor of the removal. 6.0 Emergency Procedures The County may, at its option, install traffic calming measures in emergency situations as certified by the Sheriff or as supported by traffic studies. Certification by the Sheriff of an emergency situation shall be in writing, and shall state that the imminent health and safety of the public are at risk. Emergency situations typically exist where bodily injury or severe property damage has occurred as a result of speed or volume on a street which qualifies for consideration of Neighborhood Traffic Calming Measures. The certification must describe the nature of the emergency and its direct relation to an petition area's 12

16 traffic speed, or volume concern. This certification must be signed by the Sheriff or a Department Commander. or Where the 85th percentile speed is measured at 25 miles per hour or greater in excess of the posted speed, but in no case less than 50 mph, regardless of the posted speed, the County Engineer may authorize the installation of speed calming measures. Locations which have traffic calming measures installed through emergency procedures must be ratified by the Board of County Commissioners. 7.0 Who Do I Call for Help? Should you have any questions regarding our program, please feel free to call one of our NTC staff team at (813) Thank you for your interest in YOUR neighborhood's traffic safety. 13

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