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“Traffic calming should rely on the laws of physics.”

March 13, 2012

A reader forwards me this fantastic quote from, of all places, Delray Beach, Florida. It’s taken straight from the city’s official website, filed under “Neighborhood Traffic Calming Policy & Guidelines.”

The major difference between traffic calming measures and other forms of traffic control devices, such as stop signs and speed limit signs, which require enforcement, is that calming measures are self-enforcing. Also, traffic calming should rely on the laws of physics rather than human psychology to slow traffic.

Of the three E’s of traffic safety–engineering, enforcement, and education–only engineering is permanent. Long after the police radar gun is put away and the PSA campaign has ended its run on local radio and TV stations, a neckdown, bikelane, speed bump, or other street design will be there doing its job.

  1. Adam permalink
    March 14, 2012 1:07 pm

    “…from, of all places, Delray Beach, Florida.”

    Of all places? Really? Just because it’s not from New York doesn’t mean it’s not a valid point. Idiot.

  2. March 14, 2012 1:52 pm

    Adam, thanks for your comment.

    It certainly is a valid point, one that perfectly aligns with my own philosophy of engineering over enforcement and education, which is why I described the quote as “fantastic.”

    AND Since such a fantastic quote comes not from urban planners in Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Boulder, Portland, or any city that’s typically thought of as a leader in the area of pedestrian and cyclist safety, I think “of all places” fits. When you think of pedestrian-friendly towns, is the first one that springs to mind Delray Beach, Florida?

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