Best Practices

The Payback Calculation for Traffic Calming
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This research, performed in the late 90’s breaks down all of the pros & cons of traffic calming. Then they analyze the numbers. If you skip right to the end, you’ll find an example project that seems instructive for the Olean case.


The researchers find that traffic calming improves property values and revenue per square foot in the business district. They also find savings due to fewer, less severe traffic accidents. In well designed, projects they find fuel savings too – and remember, gas was cheap in 1999!


This research assumes that most traffic calming will cause trips to take longer. In the Olean project our traffic engineers have shown that even though traffic will flow more slowly, the travel time from State Street to Main will actually diminish! That’s because traffic lights force stoppages. Roundabouts don’t. They maintain steady, fluid motion which ultimately saves time and fuel.

We've also attached a case study of traffic calming on Valencia Street in San Fransisco. It was very controversial but after implementation a full two-thirds of business owners said they would support more traffic calming because it was good for business!

Traffic Calming Benefits Analysis  (122.84 KB, application/pdf)
A rigorously researched article that provides a method for calculating the value of traffic calming in the form of a payback period.
Valencia Street Case Study  (141.37 KB, application/pdf)
Traffic calming -- mostly by adding bike lanes, improved sales at small businesses on this busy street.


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