Skip to main content

7 Traffic-Calming Devices to Slow Speeding in Your HOA

Neighborhood street with houses and mountains in the background

Speeding cars on private roads is a widespread concern that can result in serious consequences. In fact, speeding in residential areas is one of the most common complaints to local police stations across the country. While your homeowners’ association (HOA) may be able to implement several measures to combat speeding, traffic-calming devices can effectively reduce the speed and number of cars on neighborhood roads. Read on to learn about traffic-calming devices and how to slow speeding in your HOA.

What Does Traffic-Calming Mean?

Traffic-calming is a method used to reduce vehicle speeds or volumes—mainly by using physical design—to improve quality of life and increase neighborhood safety. By building speed bumps and other obstructions or altering the design of a road, you can deliberately slow traffic and reduce traffic flow.

It can be difficult to fund improvement and road safety projects. Read “Everything You Need To Know About Securing A Loan For Your Homeowner Association Project” to learn more about financing efforts.

Tips for Installing Traffic-Calming Devices in an HOA

Traffic-calming devices have long been the go-to method for HOAs to effectively control speeding vehicles. Installation of these devices can vary in cost, but there are many affordable solutions. Before committing to installing these devices, you should:

  • Consult your local municipal department. Roadway ownership and building codes may control the type of devices allowed.
  • Read your governing documents. Your documents should offer guidelines for your board regarding the ability to install devices or signage in the association’s common areas.
  • Contact a civil engineer. A civil engineer specializing in traffic control may help you determine the most effective devices and locations for installation based on your community’s traffic patterns.
  • Talk to a legal professional. If you need additional assistance, seek the opinion of a qualified legal professional.

Lawyers are one of the most important professional advisors for an HOA. Read “The Community Partners & Professional Service Providers Every Board Needs” to discover other partnerships that matter.

7 Traffic-Calming Devices & Strategies

There are several traffic calming devices and strategies used in HOA neighborhoods all over North America. Traffic-calming measures are implemented to enforce a speed limit and enhance the safety of pedestrians and motorists. Popular options include:

Speed bump on empty street.

  1. Speed bumps.

Speed bumps, also known as traffic thresholds or speed breakers, are vertical deflection devices that slow vehicle traffic. A vertical deflection means it creates a change in the height of the roadway to force a motorist to slow down. Usually made of asphalt, concrete, or plastic, speed bumps are constructed at various heights to meet industry standards. Speed bumps can slow speeds from 5 to 10 mph while driving over them.

Speed hump marked with yellow stripes on road.

  1. Speed humps.

Speed humps are a less-intense type of speed bump. Offering a shorter height and longer ramp length than a speed bump, speed humps are intended to slow traffic speeds on low-volume, low-speed roads. Speed humps can reduce speeds to 15 to 20 mph.

Speed table on street.

  1. Speed tables.

Longer than speed humps, speed tables provide a flat-topped surface that raises the entire wheelbase of a vehicle, causing it to reduce its speed. Often used as a traffic-calming measure at intersections, the elevated surface of a speed table allows for easier pedestrian and bike crossings while obstructing motor vehicle speeds. Speed tables can reduce car speeds down to 20 to 30 mph.

Speed cushions at road intersection.

  1. Speed cushions.

Speed cushions are raised and elongated sections, like speed humps, with wheel cutouts that allow for emergency vehicles to pass through unaffected. The speed cushion, or raised and elongated section, reduces passenger car speeds. Speed cushions can slow passenger car speeds to 10 to 15 mph while allowing busses and emergency response vehicles to travel at normal speeds.

Red car going over white rumble strips.

  1. Rumble strips.

Also called alert strips, rumble strips are grooves or rows of indentations in the pavement that create noise and vibrations that alert drivers to the directions of the road. Rumble strips can be rolled into newly laid asphalt pavement or milled into existing asphalt and concrete roads. Corrugated-formed strips can also be pressed into fresh concrete or fastened to existing pavement. Rumble strips can be used to notify drivers of street signs, speed limits, pedestrian crossings, and other road safety concerns.

Neighborhood street with bike lane and median.

  1. Chicanes.

Chicanes are road designs that form an S-shaped path of travel. Using curb extensions, medians, and other measures, chicanes bend the pathway, requiring a motorist to maneuver around obstacles and lower their speed. Intended for low-volume roads, chicanes can be visually appealing traffic-calming methods to use in an HOA.

Curvy narrow street in a neighborhood.

  1. Lane narrowing.

Studies show that a reduced street width, in conjunction with other traffic-calming measures, can also reduce the speed of car travel. Using sidewalks, landscaping, or striping to narrow lanes down to about 10 feet can encourage drivers to instinctively slow down.

Communicate HOA Speed-Reducing Strategies

Installing traffic-calming devices in your community creates a culture of safety. However, this effort takes time, money, and constant messaging. Proactive and consistent communication is an effective way of curtailing any unwanted behavior, like speeding, in a community. Read “8 Proven Communication Tools for HOA Board Members” to ensure you successfully convey your message.