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Hoboken Traffic Calming Toolkit

Purpose

The purpose of the Traffic Calming Toolkit is to provide residents and community leaders with information about the City of Hoboken’s Traffic Calming Policy. The toolkit is designed to highlight common traffic calming measures and explain the protocol used in selecting the most appropriate measure for each instance. It is also important to note that, according to statistics compiled by NJDOT, the current state of pedestrian safety in Hoboken is excellent. The number of Hoboken pedestrians who have been seriously injured in motor vehicle collisions has been very low in recent years, dropping 30% between 2009 and 2010, respectively. Nonetheless, it is critical to combine continued vigilance and improvements along with judicious spending and precedent. All of these were the inspiration for this Toolkit.

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Traffic Calming Improvements

The map below identifies various traffic calming treatments installed by the Hoboken Department of Transportation and Parking since 2009. Click here for a larger map.

What is Traffic Calming?

Traffic calming is the practice of managing vehicular speeds and/or volumes of traffic on city streets using one or more approaches: increased police enforcement, education, or physical changes to the roadway. When it comes to traffic calming, it is important to understand that there are no “one size fits all” solutions. Each of these approaches has its appropriate application, and combined they can help reduce speeding and unsafe driving practices.

Traffic Calming vs. Traffic Control
“Traffic control” is often confused with “traffic calming,” and it is important to understand that these two terms have very different roles for transportation planning and engineering. Unlike traffic calming, which emphasizes managing traffic speeds, traffic control primarily is concerned with managing traffic flow. Stop signs are a good example of a traffic control device that is often confused as a traffic calming measure. Stop signs are intended to assign the right-of-way among motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists at an intersection. Although many citizens believe that stop signs help reduce speeds on their street, numerous studies have shown that speeds are as high or higher at mid-block than those locations without stop signs. Also, the FHWA Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) states that “Stop signs should not be used for speed control. For the purposes of this Traffic Calming Toolkit, traffic control devices will generally not be included except for the purposes of prioritizing pedestrian crossings at intersections where high volumes exist.