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School Area Traffic Control

traffic control

Why is Traffic Control around Schools Important?

High vehicle speeds and traffic volumes can be obstacles for students walking or bicycling to and from school. Engineering tools can be used to encourage drivers to reduce their speeds, reducing the chance of collisions. Slower vehicle speeds are particularly important around children, who may behave erratically or not be alert to vehicular traffic. Traffic calming measures may be used alone or in combination to address vehicular speeds and/or volumes.

Traffic Calming Measures for Schools

  • Curb extensions reduce the road width, shortening the crossing distance and improving sight lines. When installed at non-intersection locations, curb extensions can be used as chicanes, lateral shifts, and chokers to reduce traffic speeds.
  • Speed humps, speed tables, raised crosswalks, and raised intersections are raised sections of pavement that encourage drivers to reduce their speed.
  • Traffic circles are placed in an intersection, and traffic moves counterclockwise around a center island, slowing entering and exiting drivers.
  • Street closures and half street closures block all or one side of the street so that one direction of automobile traffic is diverted to another route.
  • Median barriers are raised islands in the middle of a street that continue across an intersection, preventing cut-through motor vehicle traffic at a cross street. Median barriers block left turning motorists, which reduces conflicts with pedestrians crossing the main street.

The design of these measures should take into account impacts of pedestrians and bicyclists, emergency or transit vehicles, neighborhood access, drainage, and snow removal where appropriate. All measures should be properly designed with appropriate spacing and use of signs, striping, lighting, and vertical elements where necessary to improve visibility.

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