The City’s traffic calming program is formally starting up again after several years of dormancy. The Office of Neighborhoods conducted an outreach effort last spring and hopes to have a final policy in place in late summer, at which point neighborhoods can apply for traffic calming measures.
Traffic calming generally includes a combination of enforcement, education, and engineering solutions. Engineering solutions usually include introducing horizontal shifts within the road (like traffic circles and roundabouts), or vertical shifts like raised crosswalks, raised intersections, or speed cushions (a better speed hump, not to be confused with speed bumps found in parking lots). All of these are designed to be safely and comfortably traversed at the speed limit, 25mph. They’re meant to be uncomfortable at higher speeds. They are also designed to accommodate emergency vehicles. Well-designed traffic calming programs have been implemented across the country. Different traffic calming designs have been proven most effective at reducing cut-through traffic, speeds, noise, crashes, and even improving health – all of which increase property values and livability. Compared to enforcement and education campaigns, engineering improvements
provide long-term improvements.
There are not a lot of great examples of traffic calming measures implemented in Knoxville. Nearby speed humps and lane-narrowing islands are in the Forest Glen neighborhood and raised crosswalks are on Joe Johnson Drive on UT campus. Go check them out and, in the meantime, contact KP-SHA if you know of a street with unacceptable speeds or cut-through traffic.