Traffic Calming Pilot Program

Program Overview

This pilot program uses safety treatments with temporary materials that can be installed quickly and at a low cost. The City team can collect data, make design changes, and measure outcomes from strategies that aim to enhance street safety for all users, whether walking, bicycling, or driving. Based on the results of these temporary projects, Public Works will be able to determine if these improvements should be made permanent and how to identify funding.

Project Areas

Safety Treatments & Traffic Calming

Speeding is dangerous for everyone, but often fatal for non-motorized traffic such as pedestrians. Pedestrians struck at 20 MPH have a 90% chance of surviving whereas 90% of car/ped crashes at 40 MPH will result in a fatality for pedestrians and cyclists. Traffic Circles and Speed Cushions are intended to slow speeds to prevent fatalities and serious injury crashes at intersections.

Traffic Circles

Traffic Circles are speed management tools installed at small scale (one lane in each direction) intersections along roadways that are posted at 25 to 30 MPH. They are similar to roundabouts in terms of directing motorists slowly around a center circle. Traffic Circles can take different forms but are generally designed as a horizontal deflection to slow drivers. Arvada's traffic circles are painted with flexi-posts.

Drivers are required to apply traditional intersection rules - known as Rules of the Road - to traffic circles:

  • Using turn indicators to communicate turns
  • Yielding for oncoming vehicles before turning left
  • Non-conflicting movements can operate together at the intersection
  • Looking for a safe gap before entering from a side-street
  • Waiting for pedestrians when pedestrians have the right-of-way

Watch this video on how to navigate traffic circles!

Speed Cushions

According to the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE), speed cushions consist of "two or more raised areas placed laterally across a roadway with gaps between raised areas," with a "height and length similar to a speed hump; spacing of gaps allow emergency vehicles to pass through at higher speeds."

Curb Extensions

The curb extensions involve the installation of flexi-posts, white striping, and temporary colored paint in an effort to:

  • Reduce the crossing distance for pedestrians at crosswalks, including children walking to school
  • Improve sight lines for drivers, reducing the risk of crashes
  • Reduce speeds of drivers turning into and out of residential streets, making it safer and more enjoyable for people walking and bicycling

What Is Traffic Calming?

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) defines traffic calming as follows:

"The primary purpose of traffic calming is to support the livability and vitality of residential and commercial areas through improvements in non-motorist safety, mobility, and comfort. These objectives are typically achieved by reducing vehicle speeds or volumes on a single street or a street network. Traffic calming measures consist of horizontal, vertical, lane narrowing, roadside, and other features that use self-enforcing physical or psycho-perception means to produce desired effects."