residential areas is a problem many neighborhoods experience not just in the
City of Columbus but across the nation.
Please see the resources below to learn about how to combat speeding in
I: Slow Streets Columbus Program
Learn more here about the slow streets initiative here
Of the different tools in the fight against
speeding in residential areas, increased enforcement can play a major role in
helping to remind neighborhood drivers to slow down and observe the posted
speed limit. More often than not, it’s
our neighbors - and even ourselves - who are the root cause of neighborhood speeding.
To request additional enforcement, contact
the 311 service center at (614) 645-3111 or [email protected]. If making the service
request online, select the “speeding in residential area” option.
Note: As of January 1, 2019 the Department of
Public service will no longer be deploying Speed Trailers as they have been
found to be ineffective in working to proactively reduce speeding.
III. Traffic Calming
Residents request traffic calming in
many ways – speeding complaints, asking for speed trailers, or requesting
physical measures to be installed. It’s understandable why speeding concerns
cause frustration or fear – speeding vehicles affect our feeling of safety, and
are a major concern for pedestrians, cyclists, and other drivers. Often,
residents are intent on only one or two solutions – speed humps or stop signs. Although
speed humps and other physical traffic calming options may help slow drivers,
they aren’t always an appropriate solution. Speed humps and stop signs
can bring some unanticipated consequences; drivers may speed between signs or
humps to make up for perceived lost time, emergency vehicle response times may
increase, and snow removal may take longer.
City does install traffic calming in certain circumstances. Locations are
selected by reviewing the following criteria:
- Traffic volumes
- Posted speed and measured travel speed
- Roadway character and residential density
- Connectivity and length of street
- Crash history
- Roadway geometry
- Pedestrian generators and accommodations (e.g.
presence of sidewalks)
Traffic calming is not appropriate for all areas – areas with very high
or extremely low traffic volumes and lower average speeds, for example, would
be candidates for increased police patrol/enforcement. Streets with high
vehicle volumes, bus routes, or heavily used emergency vehicle routes, should
be considered carefully for vertical traffic calming (e.g. speed humps or speed
if a location is confirmed to have a speeding issue, several steps may be taken
before determining whether a traffic calming installation is appropriate.
Traffic calming funding is competitive and based on measured criteria.
What you can do:
- Neighborhood participation in the Pace Car
- Park on the street: on-street parking, where
legal, can reduce vehicular speeds in residential settings
- Plant street trees: trees, when placed
appropriately, can be a visual cue to slow down
- Request enforcement: file a “speed enforcement
in a residential area” request via 311
- Request for a location to be evaluated for
traffic calming options: city staff will collect speed, volume, crash data, and
evaluate other criteria to determine whether traffic calming is appropriate
considering traffic calming requests, City Staff may also assess the potential
for alternative speed control and neighborhood safety measures, such as:
- Neighborhood engagement and driver education
- Safe Routes to School (SRTS) evaluation or
- Enhanced enforcement, coordinated by the
Department of Public Service and Columbus Division of Police
- Signage and pavement striping
- Assessment of one-way to two-way conversion
- Addition of on-street parking, where feasible
- Evaluation of sidewalk gaps
IV. Pace Car
is the responsibility of every motorist to follow all traffic laws, including
speed limits, in order to make our city streets safer for pedestrians,
bicyclists, and fellow motorists. To promote safer streets, the Pace Car Program
is a resident-based traffic calming initiative coordinated by the Division of
Traffic Management, Department of Public Service. The goal of the Pace Car
Program, which has been modeled after similar programs in other U.S. cities, is
to make our streets safer by encouraging residents to promote motorist
responsibility as well as roadway safety through both an education and
“On average, a pedestrian was killed every two hours and injured
every eight minutes in traffic crashes in 2015.” National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Action in Your Neighborhood
- Set a safe pace — drive the speed limit in
your neighborhood. Vehicles behind you will have to drive the speed limit, too.
- Join the Pace Car Program and encourage
neighbors to join, too, to become a Pace Car Neighborhood. Learn more at www.columbus.gov/PaceCar/
- Request additional enforcement by the Columbus
Division of Police through the 311 Columbus Service Center at (614) 645-3111 or
- File accident reports, even when minor, with
Columbus police. The City uses crash data to help identify and prioritize
speeding problem areas that may warrant traffic calming measures.
- Talk to your neighbors – good people speed out
of habit, haste, or inattention. Sometimes a reminder goes a long way.
- Allow extra drive time to reduce an
inclination to speed.
- Avoid distracted driving — phone calls, texts,
and food can wait!
- Teach children to be aware of vehicles and use
caution when crossing the street. Don’t allow them to play in the street or
dart after toys
- Get active! If possible, walk and bike in your
neighborhood – streets are shared spaces.
for Pedestrians and Cyclists
is important to everyone, whether it’s from the car to your house, to a
specific destination or for recreation and exercise. Walking or using a
mobility device is integral to how we live, work, and play. When motorists
speed, pedestrians and neighborhood quality of life are negatively affected.
Slower speeds promote safety and:
- Allow drivers to react to unpredictable
circumstances such as young children darting into the street
- Lead to a greater sense of safety, trust and
support among neighbors
- Increase the likelihood that residents will
feel safe using neighborhood sidewalks
Tips for Drivers
- Always stop for
pedestrians. They are permitted to cross at intersections even when there are
no pavement markings, unless posted signs prohibit it.
- Stay focused and
slow down, especially in school zones and neighborhoods with children present.
- Never exceed the
speed limit when passing vehicles. Never pass vehicles that are turning or
stopped at intersections.
- Prevent feeling
rushed by allowing enough travel time.
- Never drive under
the influence of alcohol or drugs.