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Neighborhood Speed Management Program Engineering Toolkit

Neighborhood Speed Management Program Engineering Toolkit

As part of its mission to enhance the quality of life in Boulder, the city established the Neighborhood Speed Management Program (NSMP) to mitigate the negative effects of speeding traffic on neighborhood streets. Speeding not only contributes to the severity of injuries and damage in crashes, but can also impede travel for people who walk, bike, skate, play, and move in, around, and through Boulder’s neighborhoods. 

To help ensure that neighborhoods are safe and comfortable places, the NSMP focuses on education, enforcement, and engineering to slow drivers down. This toolkit focuses on the engineering component of the program, also known as traffic calming. It includes the variety of devices that can be used to physically slow down vehicles. Some of these devices may be more appropriate than others depending on the neighborhood and street conditions, as well as the need for emergency services to use a route.

What is traffic calming?

Traffic calming is an active attempt to control vehicle speeds through the engineering and design of the roadway and traffic calming devices to slow speeding traffic. The Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) defines traffic calming as:

“changes in street alignment, installation of barriers, and other physical measures to reduce traffic speeds and/or cut through volumes, in the interest of street safety, livability, and other public purposes.” 

The NSMP is a traffic calming program that specifically targets speed reduction.  Residents can apply to the city for traffic calming on their neighborhood streets to reduce traffic speeds. More information on the variety and effectiveness of traffic calming devices can be found below.