Speeding happens. It compromises our neighborhood livability -creating noise and air pollution, causing difficulties for pedestrians and bicyclists, and more importantly it jeopardizes everyone's safety.
Many motorists drive too fast on local streets. While some speeding is done by irresponsible drivers, many speeders are responsible drivers who are traveling on wide streets with long, straight sections of road. These drivers many not always be aware of their speeds. To help control speeding, traffic calming can be implemented in residential neighborhoods, which include measures such targeted enforcement, speed humps and other engineering measures as listed below.
As the City of Pittsburg’s population continues to increase so does the volume of cars traveling the streets. Today Pittsburg has more than 60,450 residents and is expected to grow 38% by the year 2020. Traffic engineers intend for motorists to use arterial streets to keep residential streets uncongested. However, motorists often seek out local streets as alternate routes because they are short cuts, which may save time or avoid delays, therefore creating cut-through traffic.
What you can do...
In most cases, the majority of speeders on residential streets live in the neighborhood. That’s why community education is a critical step in the problem-solving process. One of the most effective ways to reduce speeding on residential streets is through neighborhood involvement. Circulating neighborhood newsletters, forming a neighborhood Watch Group are a few great ways to spread the awareness of speeding, residential speed limits and other neighborhood issues.
If you would like information on how to join or form a Neighborhood Watch Group in your neighborhood, please call (925) 252-4010.
What the City of Pittsburg can do...
Traffic Calming Program
Traffic Calming is the combination of mainly physical measures that reduce the negative effects of motor vehicle use, alter driver behavior and improve conditions for non-motorized street users. The immediate purpose of traffic calming is to reduce the speed and volume of traffic to acceptable levels for the functional class of a street and the nature of bordering activity.
Traffic calming measures used in the City of Pittsburg include:
1. Police Enforcement
If you believe that people routinely drive too fast on your street, call the Pittsburg Police Department, Traffic Division at (925) 252-4811.
By contacting the Traffic Division, residents and businesses alert police officers to speeding problems in their neighborhoods. In the long run, police may lead to traffic engineering solutions to slow traffic. When you call the Traffic Division be prepared to provide details about speeding on your street. Let them know the specific location and time of day speeding usually occurs. They may decide to use the City's Radar Trailer Unit.
Enforcement is an important tool and can be employed along with all other attempts to solve neighborhood traffic problems. However, police resources are usually allocated in response to specific occurrences, rather than on-going situations, and are limited by the many calls for service. When police enforcement alone isn't solving the problem, the police will recommend that the Engineering Department - Traffic Division consider traffic calming solutions.
2. Radar Trailers
Radar trailers are self-contained police radar units with large digital displays that are temporarily (2-3 days) placed at locations where there have been complaints of excessive speed. The intention is to alert motorists of their speed, and give them a chance to correct their driving behavior.
If you would like a trailer placed on your street, contact the Traffic Division at (925) 252-4811.
3. Speed Awareness Signs/Pace Car Policy
The Engineering Department, Traffic Division, is currently working to develop a speed awareness campaign/Pace Car Program that reminds motorist to check our speed and slow down as needed. Since we as driver cause the problem of speeding in residential neighborhoods (and beyond), we must be actively engaged and committed to being the solution as well. Speed awareness signs can be posted in a neighborhood as a friendly reminder to slow down in a fast-paced world, as well as an invitation to take personal responsibility for our driving behavior.
4. Speed Humps
The City of Pittsburg Speed Hump Policy [PDF] was adopted by City Council on June 4, 2001 and revised May 17, 2004. This policy allows a uniform standard to be applied to requests and the design of speed humps on residential streets. Speed “humps” are roadway design features intended to slow traffic. Each undulation is a 3-inch rise spread out over 14 feet (14’ Speed Hump Detail) or 22 feet (22’ Speed Hump Detail) based upon the existing roadway speed limit. The gradual rise reduces the jolt caused by a typical speed “bump”
Speed humps are used on residential local or collector streets with a speeding problem only after conventional methods of reducing speed have failed. These methods include police enforcement, use of the speed trailer, and other traffic control devices such as signage and striping. Click to see Traffic Calming Strategies [PDF] used prior to considering speed humps.
The City has adopted engineering criteria for speed hump eligibility. Only streets meeting ALL of thethe following criteria are eligible for speed humps:
- Residential local or collector streets
- Two or more other traffic calming strategies deemed ineffective by the City Engineer
- Not on a public bus route
- Improved streets with curb and gutter
- Posted speed limit of 25 or 30 mph
- 15% of traffic must be at least 6 mph greater than the existing speed limit
- The average daily traffic is more than 500 and no more than 3000 vehicles per day.
- Streets with a grade equal or less than 5 percent.
- The street segment shall be at least 750 feet long.
- The installation of speed humps shall not unduly affect response times of emergency services.
If you feel that your street/street segment meets ALL the criteria above, please complete and submit the City of Pittsburg Speed Hump Application [PDF] and attach a preliminary petition with signatures from 10 households or 10% of the households, whichever is greater, with side or front yards along the street who also approve of speed humps on their street. Staff will then review your application and perform an investigation.
If the street/street segment meets all of the preliminary requirements, you will be sent a final petition form, which will contain a list of all addresses for YOU to contact. Sixty-seven percent (67%) of all the street residents with side or front yards on the proposed street and within 100’ of the outside (or exterior) speed humps must approve of speed hump installations and the proposed location of the speed humps. If the local street meets all applicable warrants, and after staff verifies the final petition, they will make a recommendation to the Community Advisory Commission who shall in turn make a recommendation to the City Council for approval or disapproval for the installation of speed humps on a particular street or street segment. Click her to obtain a copy of the Speed Hump Information Form [PDF].
Other Traffic Calming measures used in the City of Pittsburg include:
- Turn Restriction Signs
- NO THRU TRAFFIC signs
- Half-Street Closure
- Median Islands
- Angled Parking
For more information on traffic calming or other traffic calming measures listed above please visit the Engineering Department - Traffic Division.