Chapter 1: Introduction
1.0 Introduction to Traffic Calming measures
Back in the 1960s, the first diversions were installed in San Pablo Park as a traffic
calming measure to keep the traffic runs smoothly. The purpose of traffic calming is to
reduce or minimize the effect of vehicles in urban areas. Traffic calming is a term that has
emerged in Europe to describe a full range of methods to slow cars, but not necessarily ban
them, as they move through commercial and residential neighbourhoods (Hass Klau, 1990).
Photo 1.0a: The area of San Pablo Park for community engaging.
The main objective of traffic calming is to make users feel more safe and secured
when they are in a certain place. By implementing traffic calming in hope it can improve
the community involvement in that area and also to make users feel comfortable on the street.
There are many definitions that can be found about the traffic calming but the most
important thing is how is it applied in real life and real site and does it work and useful for
users or not. Traffic calming is the name for road design strategies to reduce speeds and
volume (Todd Litman, 1999), During the early stage of traffic calming implementation, some
people love it and some of them hate it. Some says that the traffic calming can protect
residents, pedestrians and also cyclist from vehicles in traffic and it also allows for residential
and commercial streets to balance their various uses. But on the other hand, some says it is
unfair and will be a burden to the drivers which they have to priorities others before them.
Photo 1.0b: The 3D art is used to create safety awareness to drivers and to slow down the traffic
Other than for safety purposes, traffic calming also offers an aesthetic values and
sense of nature. Some of traffic calming techniques such as street or road landscaping,
pedestrian amenities and unused roadway areas that can be use as community space. Not just
it can make the neighbourhood area looks more attractive, it also can reduce crime. This is
because a lively neighbourhood will have more people around it.
The traffic calming measures are the technique that focused on reducing vehicular
traffic speeds in order to improve or prioritize the safety for pedestrians in places. Other than
focusing for road safety and all, by implementing traffic calming measures it can improved
air quality and decreased fuel consumption. This is because the slower moving vehicles
create less noise and of course it will lessen the pollutants. Same goes to the fuel
consumption. There are days where the users would feel so lazy to drive and with a lot of
traffic calming measures that being implemented so it would be easier to walk, cycling or
using a public transport. Hence, fuel consumption will be reduced.
By reducing speed, it will reduce the number of crashes involving vehicles. Most
of the studies that being held, by reducing the speeds for vehicles which is by
implying traffic calming, the studies show that there are fewer fatalities and less severe
injuries. It does work in the end.
1.1 Study Goal
The goal of the study is to investigate the purposes of traffic calming measures
to decrease vehicle speeds.
1.2 Study Objective
There are three objectives that have been highlighted in this topic which is
number one, to study the functions of traffic calming measures in order to lower the
vehicle speeds and to do a site visit as a case study about traffic calming measures.
1.3 Scope of Study
The scope of study for this topic only limited to the traffic calming measures
to ensure the vehicle speeds is decreased. Other than finding the meaning of traffic
calming itself, it is also including the considerations for users, considerations of
location, operational construction and considerations for design.
1.4 Examples of Traffic Calming Devices in Malaysia
The purpose of traffic calming measure is to slow down and reduce the
vehicles traffic and to improve safety for pedestrians. Especially in the urban areas
which the number of vehicles is increasing day by day. There are a lot of traffic
measures that had been implemented in Malaysia and one of them is through the
traffic calming devices. Basically, the functions of traffic calming devices are to slow
down the traffic and minimize the usage of traffic. There are few example of traffic
calming devices that has been implemented in Malaysia.
The commonly found traffic calming device is the speed humps. The speed
humps are considered as a raised pavement area which the drivers have to slow down
when they are crossing it on the road. They are a few more devices that known as a
raised pavement area such as speed bumps, raised crosswalks and raised intersections.
Photo 1.4a: The taxi car is trying to cross the speed humps in the residential area.
Other than the infamous speed humps, there is another one which is the
speed table. This device is quite similar with the previous one but it stretch a
bit longer and rise. This is usually installed in the conjunction with extended curbs.
Photo 1.4b: The vehicles are crossing the speed table with a decreased speeds
Photo 1.4c: Another example of speed hump but different material. It is also known as
There is also a device called as chicane which is usually being installed as a
traffic calming device. A chicane is actually an alternating mid-block curb extensions
or island that smaller the road and had the vehicles to follow its direction. Means,
drivers will have no choice other than following the direction with a slower speeds or
else they will crash into one another.
Photo 1.4d: Example of the application of chicane on the road in
Photo 1.4e: The application of traffic calming device, chicane on the
road in Charingworth, UK.
The next example for traffic calming devices is a landscaped median. The
landscaped median is an island located in the centreline of the road which separating
both opposing directions of traffic. This median give facilities to the
pedestrians and cyclists when they want to cross the road because they can simply
wait on it.
Photo 1.4f: The example of landscape median
Photo 1.4g: The example of median island that let the pedestrians and cyclists to stop
there before crossing to opposite direction which is safer.
The last example for traffic calming devices that being used is curb
extensions. The purpose of curb extension is to make the sidewalk for pedestrians bigger and
make it easier and safer for them. The sidewalk area of both sides direction is extended with
curb and it will reduce the width of roadway is because the vehicles will slow down at the
corner because there is an extensions curb. This curb extension can be installed at
intersection or in mid-block and it can be used with other traffic calming devices.
Photo 1.4h: The curb extension extended to the roadway