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Reno Traffic Calming

Slowing Down the Pace in Reno Neighborhoods


Traffic calming roundabout in a Reno neighborhood

Traffic calming roundabout in a Reno neighborhood.

Photo © Stan White
Speeding is a problem all over the City of Reno and one of the top ten complaints registered by citizens. The police can't do anything unless they catch them in the act, which seldom happens. And frankly, I'm not all that happy about using expensive police resources to deal with this kind of stuff, especially when there is already a program that directly addresses the issue on neighborhood streets. It's called traffic calming and the program is operated by Reno's Traffic Engineering division. You'll notice the technique in action in city neighborhoods in the form of roundabouts, speed tables, intersection islands, and various types of street markings designed to slow people down and/or alter traffic patterns.

About Traffic Calming

Traffic calming is a technique used by the City of Reno to control traffic speed, volume, and routing. The definition of traffic calming used by the city comes from The Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) - "Traffic calming is the combination of mainly physical measures that reduce the negative effects of motor vehicle use, alter driver behavior and improve conditions for non-motorized street users."

Traffic calming has been implemented in my own neighborhood. It works. Before the installation of a couple of roundabouts, a speed table, and an intersection island, people were all over the place and driving way over the 25 mph residential area speed limit in Reno. Now, the pace has slowed and drivers pay more attention to the fact that they are indeed driving on side streets, not out on McCarran Boulevard.

How to Request Traffic Calming in Your Neighborhood

Traffic calming can be installed on secondary streets not classified as Primary Emergency Vehicle Routes (PEVR). To have traffic calming considered for your neighborhood, a petition must be submitted with signatures of a minimum of 2/3 of the residents within the petition area. After evaluating petitions for accuracy and conducting a speed study, city staff prioritizes petitions received. What gets done and when depends on available funding. The Traffic Calming Policy and Petition is available online from the Traffic Engineering web page. You can get more information by calling Reno Direct at (775) 334-INFO.

Driving in Roundabouts

When the City of Reno started installing roundabouts as a means of traffic calming and control, citizens demonstrated a decided lack of understanding about how the things are supposed to work. I'll admit to being one of those citizens - it took a few tries to get the hang of it. In response to this need, Reno has a Roundabout Safety video you can watch online.

Source: City of Reno website.

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