Traffic calming on residential streets
The Braintree Neighborhood Traffic Calming Program is a new approach to traffic calming requests in Braintree that focuses on street designs that self-enforce slower speeds and safer behaviors. Through this program, we aim to reduce the number and severity of crashes on residential streets, to lessen the impacts of cut-through traffic, and to add to the quality of life in our neighborhoods.
To have a sustainable impact on the safety of local streets, the Braintree Neighborhood Traffic Calming Program goes beyond enforcement and education to change the physical character of local streets with traffic calming devices. Traffic calming is the combination of mainly physical measures that change driver behavior and expectancies so as to reduce speeds and aggressive driving. Traffic calming does not necessarily mean restricting access; rather, people driving cars become "guests" in a neighborhood.
With neighborhood traffic calming, we intend to prioritize improvements in neighborhoods with high populations of youth and older adults-our most vulnerable residents and places where many community members gather, such as parks, libraries, schools, and community centers.
A zone-based approach
Rather than planning and implementing changes one street at a time, the Town will address an entire "zone" within a neighborhood. A typical zone will consist of surrounding streets. We will look at every street within the zone, in partnership with the community, to identify problems and design effective solutions. We anticipate traffic-calming elements and safety improvements will be proposed for almost every street within the zone.
When each zone's multi-modal plan is implemented, streets will have visual and physical clues to slow drivers to 25 MPH-making each street feel more inviting for people of all ages and abilities who are walking, playing, or bicycling. The Traffic Calming program will emphasize quick-install, low-cost fixes, such as signage, pavement markings, speed cushions or humps, and daylighting.
A partnership between the Town and the community
The Braintree Neighborhood Traffic Calming program requires Town agencies and communities to work together via the application process, residents, neighborhood associations, and other community-based organizations that demonstrate local support within the proposed Traffic Calming zone. If accepted into the program, community partners are required to be active players in maintaining support and conducting outreach for the project.
The Mayor’s Office in coordination with the Town’s Department of Public Works and Police Department will plan and implement this program in response to applications from community partners. Town staff will meet with residents, collect data, and propose design plans for community review. Following installation, community partners help conduct a qualitative survey of the project.