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Neighborhood Traffic Management Program (NTMP)

Tools to Address Speeding and Traffic Volumes

Speed Cushions

Top view of a street with speed cushions

Note: These can also be used in conjunction with bulges as shown in this schematic.

A speed cushion is a variation on a standard speed hump. However, these devices do not span the entire width of the roadway but taper off at the edges. The width of the raised portion is sufficient to ensure that cars have to pass over some of the hump but may allow buses and emergency vehicles to pass over with less impact.

The speed cushion dimensions are about 7' wide, 10' long and 3" tall. Most passenger vehicle axle widths are around 6', so they cannot straddle speed cushions as emergency vehicles do.

Speed cushions are designed to slow traffic to 25 mph and lower traffic volume by 5 - 7%.

Temporary Installation

Note: Buses are impacted less than cars

Speed cushion permanent installation

Permanent Installation

PROS

  • Potential to reduce traffic speed.
  • Reduces traffic volumes.
  • Can be used to reduce cut-through traffic.
  • Self-enforcing.
  • Minimal impact to on-street parking.
  • Minimum maintenance.
  • OK for emergency vehicles.

CONS

  • Care needed if placed on transit routes.
  • May transfer problems elsewhere.
  • Not aesthetically pleasing.
  • May cause vehicles to encroach into bicycle lanes.
Summary of Effectiveness
Volume Reduction Yes (Locally)
Speed Reduction Yes
Safety Improvement Possible
Streets to Use On Collector, Local Local
Use on Bus Route Yes
Use with Curbs and Gutters Yes
Spot or Area-wide Use Spot
Emergency Service Access Issues Minimal
Impacts on Arterials Possible
Change in % Truck Unknown
Environmental Changes Unknown
Dependence on enforcement No
Level of Violation N/A
Aesthetics and Landscaping No