Do people drive too fast in your neighborhood? My area is peppered with “Drive like your kids live here” and “children at play” signs, and cars still go speeding down the streets. Many buyers prefer homes in quiet neighborhoods without much traffic, but it can be difficult to tell how busy a road will be until you live there.
City planners are all over this issue, though. They’ve discovered several tweaks that slow drivers down on busy streets. Look for these features, and you can be confident that your neighborhood streets will be safe. If you are hoping to reign in the traffic in your area, you might want to discuss integrating some of these tricks at your next HOA or city council meeting.
No matter what the speed limit it, drivers slow down when roads are narrower. Some older neighborhoods naturally have tighter streets, but don’t despair if your road is super wide! Bike lanes, street parking, and medians can all help to bring in a road and make drivers a bit more cautious.
Tree Lined Streets
Besides being pretty, roads lined with trees have been shown to make drivers slow down. By increasing the visual noise of an area, trees force drivers focus more on what’s going on around them. When they are more focused, they are less likely to speed. Loads of mature trees are a great indicator of a quiet street.
Chicanes are a way of forcing a car to make slight turns to avoid obstacles. These include any medians or build-outs that a car has to weave around. Drivers naturally slow down when they encounter any obstacle, so they ensure that the speed limit is followed.
A neighborhood in my city has come up with a great method of slowing down motorists. They had a sign painting station at their annual block party, where the children that live in the neighborhood made and decorated yard signs that said “SLOW DOWN”. Seeing children’s artwork, along with the message to slow down, was very effective. It would be a simple thing to organize, and sweet way for kids to help their neighborhood be safer.
Cobblestones, bricks, and other textured surfaces cause drivers to slow significantly. Some areas resort to speed bumps, humps, and tables, which can also make people hit the brakes. These aren’t always popular with everyone, because they can also delay emergency vehicles, but if nothing else works, your neighbors may be ready to give them a try.