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.
The Braintree Neighborhood Traffic Calming program is the Town of Braintree's official approach to calm traffic on residential streets through design. Traffic calming devices, such as speed humps and curb extensions, reduce the likelihood of speeding and enhance the safety and comfort of people who live, walk, bike, or play in the neighborhood. Traffic calming is one of many measures that the Braintree Department of Public Works uses to enhance safety. The Braintree Police Department also plays an important role by enforcing traffic laws and encouraging safe behavior by all road users.
Below is a list of traffic calming devices used in the Braintree Neighborhood Traffic Calming program, including the benefits, considerations and appropriate conditions for each device. These guidelines are not a replacement for thorough investigation and engineering.
Use the below links to learn more about available traffic calming measures.
In each Traffic Calming zone, you will find:
In some Traffic Calming zones, you may see:
- Speed Cushions or Humps
- Raised Crosswalks
- Raised Intersections
- Neighborhood Traffic Circles
- Lane Narrowing
- Changes to Street Direction
- Road Diet
Upon acceptance into the Braintree Neighborhood Traffic Calming program, your neighborhood streets will be evaluated for appropriate traffic calming measures subject to the following general criteria:
- Streets are defined as local streets.
- The design speed and posted speed shall be 25 MPH.
- Vertical devices, such as speed cushions or humps, may only be used on streets with a maximum of one lane in each direction.
The Braintree Neighborhood Traffic Calming program will follow the below general process, which identifies roles for City departments and for community applicants/partners. Once a neighborhood is selected for the program, residents should anticipate the planning, design, and construction process to take approximately one to two years.
Application and Selection
- Town announces application period and encourages broad participation in program.
- Applicant builds support among residents and greater community.
- Applicant solicits letters of support from key stakeholders, such as neighborhood associations, police, schools, neighborhood liaisons, and/or elected officials.
- Town reviews and evaluates applications based on pre-determined criteria
- Town notifies applicants and officially announces participating neighborhoods and community partners.
- Town collects and compiles relevant data, such as crash history, existing neighborhood plans, and speed studies.
- Community partner hosts a neighborhood walk with Town staff, key stakeholders, and residents.
- Town completes preliminary engineering work.
- Town hosts a public meeting to present traffic calming plan, at which point community members will have the opportunity to provide additional comments.
- Town works with contractor to develop construction schedule, which is shared with the community partner and general public.
- Construction takes place during weekday waking hours whenever possible.
- Community partner, in collaboration with Town, conducts post-construction qualitative survey.
- Town collects post-construction data, including crashes and average speeds.
The application period has closed for the first phase of the program. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis beginning Fall 2019.
- Application form, including contact information
- Download application form here: Application Form
- A map of the proposed location and boundaries of the Neighborhood Slow Zone. Identify any schools, parks, community centers, hospitals, police stations, or firehouses.
- Choose an area of primarily residential streets. Avoid industrial sites and major commercial areas.
- Identify boundaries for the zone. Boundaries could be: Busier, larger streets, parkways, and highways - Large parks, cemeteries, or Train embankments Hospitals, firehouses, police stations, and major bus routes may be located on boundary streets, but should not be present within the zone.
- Use Google Maps or contact our Engineering Department for assistance.
- Letters from organizations, residents, and officials in support of the proposed Braintree Neighborhood Traffic Calming program zone
- Download sample letter here: Sample Letter
- A petition with signatures and addresses of neighbors within the proposed zone - support from at least 80% of available households is most favorable.
- Download petition form here: Petition Form
The Mayor’s Office in partnership with the Town’s Department of Public Works and Police Department will objectively review and evaluate each application according to criteria including:
- Community support, as evidenced by letters of support, a presentation to the neighborhood association, signed petitions, surveys, and/or existing neighborhood transportation safety reports or audits
- Percentage of households with children under 18
- Percentage of population aged 65 and older
- Presence of schools, parks, libraries, and public housing communities within or on the boundary of the zone
- Proximity to rail transit and bus routes
- Identified walking or bicycling routes to schools, bicycle routes, or similar, as identified in master plans
- Crash history, including total number of crashes and number of crashes that resulted in fatal or serious injuries
- Clear, strong boundaries to proposed zone
- Feasibility for Town of Braintree to implement improvements within the zone