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Traffic Calming

What is traffic calming?

Traffic calming is the installation of physical devices on the roadway with the intention of slowing speeds and/or reducing volumes to provide a safer neighborhood environment.

Other Benefits

The overriding purpose of traffic calming devices is to discourage non-local traffic from cutting through neighborhoods.  There are several other benefits to the process as well.  Because many traffic calming strategies reduce vehicle speeds for all the traffic on the street, safety on that street is increased.  Because many traffic calming strategies use landscaping and pavement treatments, these may serve to enhance the aesthetic look of the neighborhood.


Need for Traffic Calming

Research has shown that speed is a critical factor in the potential for serious injury or death in crashes between motor vehicles and pedestrians or bicyclists. As a result, the City of Lakeland has determined that any speeding occurring within a residential neighborhood is too much speeding.

Street Eligibility

All City-owned streets classified as local roads are eligible for consideration. Collector roads may be considered for traffic calming at the discretion of the Manager of Traffic Operations.

Types of Traffic Calming Devices that May be Considered

  • Speed Humps
  • Chicanes
  • Chokers
  • Diagonal Diverters
  • Median Islands
  • Other Devices

Information on these devices may be found on the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) website: Traffic Calming ePrimer - Safety | Federal Highway Administration (dot.gov)

Traffic Calming Policy

The City of Lakeland's policy for Traffic Calming was initially established on August 30, 1999, and has undergone various revisions.

The following guidelines shall be used in establishing priorities for traffic calming projects:

  • Speed Limit: the posted speed limit may not exceed 30 miles per hour.
  • Lanes of Traffic: generally limited to roadways consisting of one (1) travel lane in each direction.
  • Emergency Routes: project street must not be a primary route for fire and rescue equipment.
  • Traffic Volumes: shall not exceed three thousand (3,000) vehicles on an average day. Traffic calming is generally not recommended along roadways carrying fewer than 300 vehicles per day.
  • Traffic Speed Differential:  These elements of the traffic calming study, along with other qualitative considerations.

Please contact us for further information.

Removal of Traffic Calming

Traffic Calming may be removed to remedy a hazardous situation.  Alternatively, after the third anniversary of the installation of traffic calming devices, property owners may request removal of these devices.  Contact Traffic Operations staff should you wish to pursue this action.


Traffic Calming Process

  • Neighborhood Traffic Calming Process

    Step 1: Request Traffic Calming

    Submit an online application for traffic calming along with a neighborhood petition. The petition must contain signatures of a minimum of 25 or at least 50% of the property owners in the Neighborhood (one per street address), whichever is smaller.

    Step 2: Public Meeting

    Traffic calming will be provided to those on the waitlist when funding becomes available on a first come, first served basis. Once funding becomes available, the Traffic Operations Division will conduct a neighborhood public meeting to review the program, gauge neighborhood support, and seek input from the community on specific problem areas.

    Step 3: Traffic Calming Study

    The Traffic Operations Division may schedule and conduct a traffic study within the neighborhood to determine problem areas.

    Step 4: Plan Development

    The Traffic Engineer will take any data collected, the input received from the community at the public meeting and the layout of the neighborhood into consideration in the development of a neighborhood traffic calming plan.

    Step 5: Plan Approval

    Once the Traffic Calming Plan has been developed, the Traffic Operations Division will conduct a survey with a 30-day response deadline of all the property owners within the project limits. In order for a proposed traffic calming plan to be approved, the City must receive responses from fifty percent (50%) plus one of the property owners within the neighborhood, and the plan must by supported by sixty-six percent (66%) or more of the property owners responding.

    Step 6: Funding and Construction

    The plan shall be scheduled for construction upon approval by the Director of Public Works.

    Step 7: Project Evaluation, Modification and Removal

    Traffic Operations staff will evaluate the project from a safety standpoint within one (1) year after installation. After the third anniversary of the installation of traffic calming devices, property owners may request removal of traffic calming device(s) upon submission of a petition signed by at least sixty-six percent (66%) of the property owners on the street on which the traffic calming device is located.

    Property Owners - Download petition form | Here