Point systems have proven invaluable to many successful traffic calming programs including those in Portland, Oregon; Seattle, Washington; and Salt Lake City, Utah. Without utilizing a point system, it can be difficult for a city to determine which streets to target. Attention can be mistakenly focused on the streets with the most vocal residents rather than those with the most crucial safety concerns.
The first step in employing a point system is to conduct a traffic study to determine which streets have the highest traffic volume, speed, and safety concerns.
Once streets are identified, the point system involves ranking each of the streets with a point value based on local priorities. Examples of the types of information that are ranked include whether the street generates pedestrian traffic; proximity to a school, park, Church, or store; presence of a bike lane or bus lane; number of miles that the 85th percentile speed exceeds the posted speed limits; and volume of traffic.
By assigning different point values to specific indicators, community officials can clearly assess and rank a street's need for calming solutions based on distinct number values. Streets with the highest scores are identified as program priorities. This allows cities to focus on those streets with the greatest safety needs.
Once the highest ranking streets are chosen, the city needs to choose which traffic calming solution best meets their needs. Popular choices for residential streets are the standard SafePace 400 radar sign, the dynamic SafePace 600 sign, or the compact SafePace 100 sign. For cities looking for physical solutions, speed humps, speed tables, and speed cushions, as well as SuperFlex curbing are all options to consider. Factors such as whether data collection is necessary, what the speed limit is, and whether it's an emergency response route, are all important when determining which solution best fits the street's needs.