Rumble strips and speed ramps were the best known and most requested traffic calming techniques requested by the general public in Co. Waterford, a meeting of Waterford County Council was told in Dungarvan, this week. The Council is considering a new policy for the implementation of traffic calming measures around the county.

The provision of traffic calming measures usually arose from the reaction to complaints from the public regarding inappropriate speed of traffic in certain areas or as a result of planning conditions. It was appropriate for the Council to develop a policy on traffic calming measures in order that the public and potential developers could see under what situations they would be considered.

The new policy document will take-in the existing policy and broaden the number of available traffic calming measures and allow for the design and redesign of existing measures so that a satisfactory balance is struck between the conflicting demands on road space.

Convey message

A successfully designed traffic calming scheme should convey the message to drivers of the inappropriateness of driving other than at a low speed. Traffic calming should improve safety and convenience for all road users, reduce noise and pollution and enhance the streetscape. They should also support the promotion of the local economy and cultural activity, assist the provision of local transport and discourage the non-essential use of unsuitable routes for motorists.

The most common

techniques in use internationally were chicanes, gateways, plateaus, roundabouts, rumble strips, cushions and ramps and narrowings.

The new policy will outline the various situations where these measures may be considered. The use of various traffic calming techniques, either singly or in combination, would depend on local circumstances.

First it would be necessary to classify the general road network in the county into different “types and themes” in order to develop guidelines for the use of traffic calming measures and a matrix to identify which techniques were appropriate to each road type.

The redesign of existing traffic calming measures would be developed in line with the new policy and consultations with the Gardai, the public and the operators of public transport.