Public Works Engineering
400 W. Gowe St., Kent, WA 98032
Office Hours: Monday - Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Traffic conditions on residential streets can greatly affect neighborhood livability. The Residential Traffic Calming Program (RTCP) addresses neighborhood traffic safety concerns while partnering with citizens and/or community groups to become actively involved in the improvement process.
- First, you'll want to identify the traffic concerns in your neighborhood
- Next discuss possible solutions with your neighbors from the measures listed in the brochure
- Fill out an online Citizen Action Request Form
- A representative from the City will contact you directly
Once the Citizen Action Request form is received, Public Works Transportation Engineering Staff will review your concerns and begin to collect data. We will also conduct a field review of the area.
From this information, we will compile a Proposed Improvement Plan for the location and inform you of our findings and recommendations for Phase I solutions. This review takes approximately six to eight weeks from the date we receive your Citizen Action Request Form.
Traffic Calming Strategies: 2-Phase Approach
Phase I: Changing Driver Behavior
After an Citizen Action Request has been made and a problem identification and data assessment has occurred (this step usually takes about 6-8 weeks), Engineering staff will meet with neighborhood residents to present initial data and recommendations.
Staff and residents will agree upon which Phase I tools will be implemented. The length of time for this step depends on residents’ schedules and availability to participate.
Possible Phase I Solutions:
- Residential Speed Watch
- Volunteers will use a radar gun to clock speeds and report back to the city. Warning notices will be mailed to speeders.
- Speed Radar Trailer Board
- A portable trailer equipped with a radar unit that detects the speed of passing vehicles and displays it on a digital reader board. This device shows drivers their actual speed as well as the posted speed limit, and encourages their compliance.
- Speed Radar Display Sign
- Placed in neighborhood by residents to remind drivers to slow down.
- Pavement Markings
- The painting of legends on the pavement. These may include centerlines, foglines, school crossings, and speed limits.
- The posting of appropriate traffic control signs. These may include speed limit, parking, dead-end, and school signs.
- Neighborhood Traffic Safety Campaign
- A newsletter mailed to your community. The newsletter explains volumes and speeds in your area, recommended traffic calming measures, traffic laws, and pedestrian safety.
- Brush Trims
- The trimming and removal of brush by homeowners or City crews to allow better sight distance.
- Target Enforcement
- Increased enforcement by the Kent Police Department.
Upon evaluation of Phase I, if studies indicate traffic speeds exceed the posted limit by 10 mph, residents may consider Phase II.
Phase II: Physical Treatments
The City will communicate with the entire neighborhood by mailing a questionnaire on traffic issues, including a request for volunteers to serve on a Residential Traffic Committee. The City will also mail ballots to residents to determine the level of community support. The ballot will describe the proposal included in the plan.
Design plans and cost estimates will be developed. Depending on available funding, the plan may be adjusted. Residents will be notified of the approved plan and provided details on the anticipated construction schedule.
- Traffic Circles
- Traffic circles are raised islands, placed at intersections, around which traffic circulates. They are good for calming intersections, especially within neighborhoods that have major concerns about speeds, traffic volumes, and safety.
Pictured: Mill Creek Neighborhood, between James St and Smith St. The traffic circle was constructed in 2009.
- Speed Humps
- Generally considered the most traditional of traffic calming devices. Speed humps are raised devices, parabolic in shape, that are placed across a residential road in a series, to slow cars down.
Pictured: Meadow Ridge area between 114th Ave SE and 108th Ave SE. A total of four speed humps were constructed in 2006.
- Speed Cushions
- When traffic calming measures are desired on a primary emergency response route, a newer traffic calming device called a speed cushion may be appropriate. Speed cushions reduce vehicle speeds but avoid excessive damage to emergency vehicles. They are designed to allow the wider axles of fire engines and ambulances to straddle the cushions without slowing down while forcing smaller vehicles to ride up over the cushions with at least one set of wheels.
Pictured: Erin Glade, just north of the 277th corridor off of 111th Pl SE. Speed Cushions were constructed in 2010 thru the City’s Residential Traffic Calming Program. Erin Glade is a known emergency response route. A total of three speed cushions constructed to slow vehicles without slowing down emergency response times.