Introduction & Background
In February 2000, Campbell staff received authorization from the City Council to begin the process of developing a program that would address neighborhood speeding and cut-through traffic issues in a consistent manner. Two public meetings were held in June 2000, to obtain public feedback. Several common themes emerged from these meetings:
Children’s safety is a top priority and concern.
Speeding is generally of greater concern than high traffic volumes or cut-through traffic.
Increased police enforcement is strongly desired.
There is a substantial level of frustration among some residents with what is perceived as the City’s inability to deal expeditiously with neighborhood traffic problems.
Although the public looks to the city for solutions, some residents expressed a desire for greater local control of their streets.
In response to this feedback, this Neighborhood Traffic Management Program (NTMP) has been developed to establish guidelines for how the city will respond to neighborhood traffic issues. This program combines public input with what staff has gleaned from its survey of case studies and other existing programs. The intent of this program is to provide a framework by which city staff can implement measures in a consistent manner throughout the city.
What Is a Neighborhood Traffic Management Program?
A Neighborhood Traffic Management Program (NTMP) is a set of guidelines for the public and city staff to work together to address neighborhood concerns about traffic on residential streets, including cut-through, speeding, and other traffic violations.
Goals & Objectives
The City believes it is important to strike a balance between improving the livability of residential streets and allowing the public street system to serve its two main functions, which are to provide mobility and access. The following goals are established for Campbell’s NTMP:
Manage illegal traffic behavior and cut-through traffic on residential streets.
Maintain reasonable and efficient traffic flow.
To achieve these goals, the following objectives are set:
Develop procedures for addressing neighborhood traffic issues.
Define what speeds, cut-through traffic volumes, and other traffic violations are considered excessive.
Create a toolbox of acceptable neighborhood traffic management solutions.
By meeting these objectives, the NTMP will establish the policies that will guide the development and implementation of solutions in a consistent manner.
An intensive evaluation of the neighborhood traffic management issue resulted in the emergence of the following major themes:
Overall, citywide traffic volumes are not going to be reduced.
City street network was not designed for easy traffic management.
Motorist behavior plays a central role in the creation of neighborhood traffic problems.
Freeway, expressway, and arterial traffic congestion will continue to have neighborhood spillover impacts.
Improving the operation of signalized intersections throughout the city can help contain neighborhood traffic problems.
Police and Public Works staff already have substantial information as to which city streets have significant neighborhood traffic problems.
Police and Traffic Engineering resources are very limited.
Enforcement and engineering resources have traditionally been focused on those areas that have documented speeding or other traffic violations and/or a history of serious traffic accidents.
There is often a lack of consensus between city staff and residents as to whether a neighborhood traffic problem exists.
There is often a lack of consensus among residents as to what should be done to address neighborhood traffic concerns.
Installation of physical improvements to reduce cut-through traffic or speeding will often shift traffic problems to another street.
Within the context of the items outlined above, the Neighborhood Traffic Management Program will rely on staff’s knowledge of the city’s transportation network, augmented by more in-depth and thorough traffic data collection to measure speed and volume objectively in known trouble spots.
Proposed Approach to Neighborhood Traffic Management
This Neighborhood Traffic Management Program is a proactive program wherein staff will collect up-to-date traffic data and evaluate neighborhood streets based on that data. Petitions and neighborhood votes are not required, thus making the Campbell NTMP much more streamlined and responsive than other existing programs.
The format of the program begins with periodic updated traffic surveys of residential street segments with known speeding and cut-through traffic problems. Both volume and speed data will be collected for a number of recognized problem streets to confirm assumptions about volume and speed. This data would then be paired with accident history data and trip generation information to identify a limited number of streets with the most serious speeding and cut-through traffic problems. By relying on traffic data, this NTMP ensures that staff resources are focused on the worst cases first.
The second step in the NTMP is the evaluation process wherein city staff will evaluate the collected traffic data and identify system needs and appropriate solutions based on the data and engineering judgment. Some initial guidelines for determining the severity of problems on streets include:
Critical or 85th percentile speeds
Adjacent land uses.
Initially, traffic violations such as speeding, along with daily volumes, will serve as the primary evaluation criteria. Where two streets have the same speed, the higher volume street would be weighted more heavily. Other factors to be considered are collision history and adjacent land uses. Streets adjacent to schools or parks are likely to have heavier pedestrian volumes and more children present. Therefore, these streets would be given greater consideration than streets of similar speeds and volumes but without schools or parks.
The evaluation results will be tabulated and the surveyed streets ranked. The most highly-ranked streets will be recommended to the City Council to be designated Special Enforcement Zones, i.e., streets that will be given the highest level of attention by the Campbell Police Department. The Special Enforcement Zones will have a significantly higher level of police enforcement, special signage and deployment of other staffed enforcement resources, in addition to equipment options, such as radar speed trailers and parked police vehicles.
During the first 18 months of the program, re-surveys for speed and traffic volumes of the targeted streets will be conducted every six months. Thereafter, speed and volume studies will be done as needed. Every 18 to 24 months, a review of the designated Special Enforcement Zones will be conducted, with streets added or deleted as necessary, based on the data collected.
Traditional traffic engineering tools would be utilized in conjunction with Special Enforcement Zone status designation, including striping, signage, and parking. The city will not be considering the installation of measures that would significantly alter the existing street system, such as speed humps, diverters, turning restrictions, or street closures.
Currently, there are ten streets designated as Special Enforcement Zones. The streets currently designated as Special Enforcement Zones were updated in 2016 and are as follows.