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Traffic Calming
Traffic Calming Speed SensorTraffic Calming is one aspect of the Neighborhood Traffic Management Plan (NTMP) adopted by the City Council in 2006.

The Institute of Transportation Engineers defines traffic calming as:

“Traffic calming is the combination of mainly physical measures that reduce the negative effects of motor vehicles use, alter driver behavior, and improve conditions for non-motorized street users (bicyclists, pedestrians, etc.)”

The goal of the NTMP is to make San Mateo neighborhood streets more livable by reducing speed and traffic volumes through neighborhoods. The NTMP provides for public participation in addressing traffic problems in residential neighborhoods and details methods for restoring safety and livability to neighborhood streets.

Traffic Calming Process

The NTMP outlines three areas of action: Education, Enforcement and Engineering. Traffic Calming is the Engineering component of the plan.

When we receive a request, a traffic study is conducted to determine the speed and volume of traffic on the streets. The thresholds for determining if a street could qualify for Phase II traffic calming devices such as speed cushions or traffic circles are:
  • Average speed is 7 miles over the posted speed limit
  • 1,000 or more cars travel on the road per day

Step II traffic calming devices are only for local roads.

If the road does not qualify for a Step II’s Traffic Calming engineering response, we can consider Step I improvements (Education and Engineering) such as a speed trailer, police department enforcement, or installation of additional speed limit signs and legends.

Make a Request for Traffic Calming 

The installation of a traffic calming measure is the result of a time intensive process which involves neighbors, the Public Works Commission and the City Council. If you think your street could benefit from traffic calming measures, you can organize your neighbors with a petition and request that the city begin the evaluation process. For details, read about traffic calming, starting on page 5, of the Neighborhood Traffic Management Program. To apply for traffic calming, please submit our online traffic calming application.

San Mateo City Hall – 330 West 20th Avenue, San Mateo, CA 94403

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