Traffic Calming - Speed Humps Effect on Emergency Response Times   [open pdf - 806KB]

This paper is a product of the United States Fire Administration's Executive Fire Officer Program. "In the past several years, the City of Des Plaines has received numerous requests from citizens and public officials for the installation of speed humps. They are viewed as the solution to control speeding vehicles and relieve traffic congestion in residential neighborhoods. The public's lack of knowledge of traffic calming methods has led to the requests for speed humps; when other methods may be more appropriate or beneficial to use. Since the City has no formal traffic calming policy, the requests have been denied, even though they may be valid. As more requests are being received, pressure from the public is increasing for their installation. The fire department is concerned that City will begin to approve the use of speed humps, which have a negative effect on fire apparatus response times to emergencies. Through descriptive research, this study identified the purposes for traffic calming and the most popular methods used in the Chicagoland area. The effects traffic calming has on fire apparatus response times were examined along with criteria required to develop a traffic calming policy. Literature review was conducted to better understand the subject. Surveys were conducted of Chicagoland fire departments to ascertain their experience with traffic calming. Interviews were conducted with individuals that have experience with traffic calming in their municipality. The research results concluded that traffic calming is effective and provides the regulations required to reduce the speed of vehicles and cut-through traffic in targeted areas. It also determined that speed humps absolutely effect response time of fire apparatus. The research outlines what a traffic calming policy should include to provide the desired results for all stakeholders and it is recommended that the City of Des Plaines draft a traffic calming policy."

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United States Fire Administration: http://www.usfa.dhs.gov/
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