Traffic Calming Program

Are you looking to make your neighborhood streets safer? Let us know by completing an application for our Traffic Calming program.

The City of Grand Rapids' Neighborhood Traffic Calming Program is funded on an annual basis. There's a limited amount of funding for this program. Projects are carefully reviewed and ranked. We rank them based on the project benefits and costs. You can get a higher ranking if you're able and choose to pay half of the estimated project costs.

Eligible traffic calming projects include:

  • Pavement markings
  • Speed humps
  • Bulb-outs
  • Traffic circles

When the funding for the current year has been spent, we hold approved projects for the next year's program. We can't guarantee that additional funding will be provided.

Complete the online Traffic Calming application

Traffic calming, as defined by the Institute of Transportation Engineers, 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."

Our goals with this program are to:

  • Increase quality of life
  • Include resident preferences and requirements
  • Create safer and more attractive streets
  • Reduce negative impacts of motor vehicles
  • Promote alternative transportation modes

Our objectives for this program are to:

  • Achieve slower speeds for motor vehicles in residential areas
  • Increase safety for non-motorized users of the street system
  • Enhance the street environment
  • Increase access for all modes of transportation
  • Reduce or eliminate cut-through motor vehicle traffic

Want to apply for a Traffic Calming project? Here's the process you can expect.

  1. A resident or neighborhood contacts us requesting a traffic calming packet. Or they complete the questionnaire and petition online
  2. We determine if the street is eligible. We perform any studies necessary to understand the problem. Typical studies include volume, speed, and crash history
  3. We discuss the results of the study with the residents. We work together to develop a traffic plan using the following Phase I and Phase II Tools: 

    Phase I Tools - Education and Enforcement

    • Neighborhood Awareness programs
    • Selective police patrols
    • Speed boards

    Phase II Tools - Engineering

    • Signs and Pavement Markings
    • Vertical Deflections (Speed Humps and Speed Tables)
    • Horizontal Deflections (Traffic Circles and Chicanes)
    • Street Narrowings (Chokers/Bulb-outs and Center Island Narrowings)
    • Access Control
  4. Trial with tools. We test if Phase I Tools resolve the issue. If not, we begin using Phase II Tools. Keep in mind that we need the Fire Department to approve using Phase II tools
  5. Once the right Phase II Tool is chosen for the neighborhood, we send residents a postcard survey. A survey is valid only if we get a 60% response rate
  6. We prioritize and construct approved Phase II Tools based on the benefits and cost for each
  7. If, after construction of a project, the neighborhood wants to have it removed, the residents must agree to pay 100% of the removal costs