Neighborhood Traffic Calming Program

Overview

The City of Littleton’s citizen-initiated neighborhood traffic calming program aims to provide a streamlined and transparent way for citizens to report neighborhood traffic safety concerns and work with staff to address these concerns.

Safety as the Primary Goal

Safety is the City of Littleton’s top priority for all transportation projects. Littleton follows nationally recognized standards, as well as standards common among peer cities, when addressing neighborhood traffic concerns. In addition to safety, there are a number of secondary concerns city staff must balance including emergency vehicle response, street maintenance, drainage, cost, and other modes. These considerations can be a bit overwhelming for residents, so this guide lays out the process and thresholds staff considers when addressing neighborhood traffic safety issues.

How to Proceed?

If there is a neighborhood traffic safety issue that the city should know about, please read this guide, and submit an online request using the form below. Requests will be taken to the city’s Traffic Safety Committee, which is a multidisciplinary team comprised of staff from Public Works, City Manager’s Office, and Littleton Police Department. This committee aims to address safety issues within the city and create data-driven solutions to these issues, when possible.

Steps for traffic calming project

Step 1: Have an idea

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If there is a concern about neighborhood traffic safety, or an idea on how to improve neighborhood transportation, submit an online request using the form below. Staff will evaluate the request and determine what action is necessary or may reach out to gather additional details. City staff will determine if the request is on an eligible road type, is a traffic issue, and can be addressed by Littleton's Public Works Department.

Step 1: Process 

  1. Someone has a concern regarding neighborhood traffic issues
  2. Request submitted online 
  3. Request is incorporated into the city’s Traffic Safety Committee (TSC) tracking
  4. Reply sent to sender within 2 business days 
  5. Request is discussed at bi-weekly TSC Meeting
  6. Request may be referred to the Neighborhood Traffic Calming Program
  7. If referred, the City of Littleton may contact the requestor for additional information

Step 1: Thresholds:

To make sure this issue is best suited for the Neighborhood Traffic Calming Program, each step in the process has thresholds that need to be met in order for an issue to proceed to the next step. Below are the filtering criteria used to evaluate issues in Step 1.

  • The request is on a local street (see Transportation Master Plan, page 125)
  • The request is on a neighborhood connector (see Transportation Master Plan, page 125)
  • The request is NOT a maintenance issue*
  • The request is NOT a code enforcement issue*
  • The request is NOT under the authority of another jurisdiction, department, or on a private roadway

 *If a request is a maintenance or code enforcement issue, the request will be referred to the appropriate city department.

If a request is determined at any point during this process to be a safety risk to the traveling public, the city has the authority to take necessary action and elevate the project out of the Neighborhood Traffic Calming Program.

HOA or Neighborhood Organization Involvement

Where applicable, a request will be brought to the attention of an HOA or formal neighborhood organization to disseminate information to residents and gather resident input. Action will be taken under the discretion of the HOA.

Please note, there are thresholds that need to be met before the request is escalated to Step 2: Information Gathering.

Step 2: Information Gathering

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In an effort to be good stewards of public tax dollars, the City of Littleton makes data-driven decisions whenever possible. In the information gathering phase, city staff collects data and conducts field observations on requests that meet the thresholds from Step 1. Below is the process for Step 2.

Step 2: Process

  1. Determine type of data to collect
  2. Conduct field visit if necessary
  3. Collect and synthesize data
  4. Compare data to Neighborhood Traffic Calming Program standards below for escalation

Step 2: Types of Data and Information Gathering

Below is a list of data collection types and evaluation methods the city uses to examine potential neighborhood mobility safety issues.

  • Speed / Volume Study
  • Bike / Pedestrian Counts
  • Crash History Review
  • Signage Evaluation
  • Sensitive Land Use Site Operations Evaluation
  • Sight Distance Evaluation
  • Signal Timing Evaluation
  • Parking Utilization Study
  • Comparison to National Standards
  • Field Observation & Operational Evaluation

Most requests received are filtered out at Step 2 for not meeting one of the thresholds for what the city considers a concern that can be solved by engineering methods. Below are the thresholds to which the city compares the data to evaluate whether requests satisfy the requirements in Step 2. A request must meet the minimum traffic volume and one or more of the other thresholds to move forward to Step 3.

Step 2: Thresholds

Required traffic volume:

  • Minimum Average Daily Traffic (ADT) of 500 vehicles (established by a seven-day count)

Additional thresholds (must meet one or more):

  • Speeding Problem
    • 15% of vehicles are traveling more than 10 MPH over the posted speed limit
  • Crash History
    • Three reported crashes in the last calendar year
    • Five reported crashes over the last three years
  • Does Not Meet Established Standards
    • Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and other relevant federal standards applied where necessary
    • Other relevant City of Littleton Standards (Littleton Engineering Design Standards, Downtown Design Standards, etc.) or recommendations from Littleton’s Transportation Master Plan
    • HOA standards would be the responsibility of the HOA to address

If collected data shows a significant traffic safety issue, requests may move beyond Step 3 and straight to Step 4 at the discretion of city staff.

Exceptions to the required thresholds above may occur if one of the following criteria is met:

  • Sensitive Uses
    • Exceptions could be made for areas near sensitive land uses including schools, transit stations, and living facilities with limited mobility residents or sensory limited residents at the discretion of city staff.
  • Emergency Routes
    • Emergency routes (including snow removal routes, and emergency evacuation routes) may be exempt from traffic calming devices even if an above threshold is met. This will be at the discretion of city staff.
  • Engineering Judgement
    • Situations where the roadway geometry or context of the roadway is likely to cause a crash and when city staff determines action is needed.

If a roadway does not meet the required thresholds in Step 2, city staff may consider solutions such as programmatic or educational interventions rather than engineering solutions. See Possible Pop-Up Solutions with asterisks in Step 3 for potential options. However, expenses associated with materials will be the responsibility of an HOA or residents, equipment from the city will be prioritized for projects that meet the standard of escalation, and the pop-up solution will be installed at the discretion of city staff.

Please note, there are thresholds that need to be met before the request is escalated to Step 3: Pop-Up Solution.

Step 3: Pop-Up Solution

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Requests that satisfy the conditions discussed for Steps 1 and 2 are considered an issue that city staff has determine should be addressed. One approach is to identify a pop-up or an easily implementable solution to address the issue. Below is the process and filters for Step 3.

Step 3: Process

  1. City staff may identify one or more pop-up solutions as a first approach to address an issue.
  2. Data will be collected while pop-up solutions are in place and after to determine if they were effective.
  3. Material expenses for pop-up solutions will be covered by the city (assuming program budget is available) and city resources will be prioritized for installation.

Step 3: Possible Pop-Up Solutions

  • Trash Can Speed Limit Stickers*
  • “Slow Down” Yard Sign*
  • Police Radar Gun Demo*
  • Temporary Radar Speed Signs*
  • Police Enforcement
  • Letter from the HOA*
  • Temporary Barricades
  • Educational Mail Campaign
  • Neighborhood Safe Driving Pledge*

*These options are potentially available even if a threshold from Step 2 is not satisfied at the discretion of city staff.

Step 3: Thresholds

In order for an issue to progress to Step 4, the following criteria must be satisfied:

  • Data collected during and after the pop-up solution shows the problem is persisting
  • Periodic enforcement does not solve the issue
  • HOA/neighborhood supports further options that are also acceptable to the city
  • City staff determines further action is appropriate
  • Adequate HOA/neighborhood support for long-term installation:
    • If there is a HOA:
      • Pilot project must be presented at two HOA meetings (or other process approved by the city) and approved by the HOA board; this process must be documented in writing.
    • If there is no HOA:
      • When no HOA is present, the city will require written approval from the majority of people within the project’s area of influence, as determined by the city on a case-by-case basis.  

Please note, there are thresholds that need to be met before the issue is escalated to Step 4: Pilot Projects.

Step 4: Pilot Projects

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Pilot projects are similar to pop-up solutions in that temporary and low-cost measures are used to mimic permanent changes to the roadway. Pilot projects differ from pop-up solutions in that they will be kept in place longer (3 – 12 months) and will have three to five specific metrics (the same thresholds in Step 2) that are measured beforehand and during the pilot project to see how they address the original concern and impact overall neighborhood mobility including for vehicles, bicyclists, pedestrians, emergency response, etc.

Step 4: Process

  1. Based on the issue, city staff will recommend pilot projects to help improve safety.
  2. Pilot projects will be designed to last between 3 – 12 months, with at least two months occurring while school is in session. Additional data collection will take place during this period.
  3. Projects involving temporary striping will be limited to installation from April through October.
  4. Expenses for the pilot project will be covered by the city (assuming program budget is available).
  5. If no program budget remains, the city and HOA/neighborhood can discuss alternative funding options and agreements, or the pilot project may be postponed to the next calendar year.
  6. Based on project specifics, the city will hold neighborhood meetings at some point before, during, or after the pilot project at the HOA or neighborhood’s discretion.
  7. After the pilot project has ended, a brief summary report will be provided by the city to the HOA or neighborhood.

Step 4: Possible Pilot Projects

  • Temporary Striping
  • Unconventional Roadway Markings/Treatments
  • Temporary Median
  • Temporary Curb
  • Temporary Delineators (flex posts)
  • Temporary Raised Crossing
  • Temporary Bulb Out
  • Temporary Channelization/Pinch Point
  • Signage

Step 4: Thresholds

In order for an issue to progress to Step 5, the following criteria must be satisfied:

  • Data collection during the pilot project shows significant and consistent improvement.
    • The pilot project must have been adequately studied:
      • 3-5 metrics related to the safety concern and project impacts on mobility
      • 90-day minimum installment length, or 30-day minimum per phase for multi-phase projects
      • At least one 7-day periods of data collection before the pilot
      • At least one 7-day periods of data collection during the pilot (minimum two per phase for multi-phase projects)
      • At least one 7-day periods of data collection after the pilot (where applicable)
  • If data collection shows the pilot project is unsuccessful:
    • If significant and consistent improvement is not shown, the issue will be brought back to the beginning of Step 4 to determine if another pilot project is possible.
    • If the neighborhood/HOA no longer supports the project, the city will determine if further action is necessary.

Please note, there are thresholds that need to be met before the issue is escalated to Step 5: Construction.

Step 5: Construction

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For issues that satisfied the conditions of the first four steps, constructing physical changes is the final step to address the issue. Below is the process and potential treatments for Step 5.

Step 5: Process

  1. After a successful pilot project, the city will develop a design based on the pilot project concept.
  2. The city will create a cost estimate for the final design (if required) and construction of the project.
  3. The city will develop a formal agreement that holds the HOA or neighborhood responsible for 50% of the project design and construction costs.

    a) Where possible, the city will pursue grant funding of these projects. The city will still expect the HOA to cover 50% of the local match, which would typically be ten percent of overall project costs.
    b) At the discretion of city staff, Littleton may cover the complete cost of construction.

  4. Removal: If the HOA or neighborhood desires to remove a feature that was constructed as part of this program, the city will bear no expense in this process. Removal must comply will all applicable local, state, and federal laws and permitting requirements.

Step 5: Ongoing Maintenance

Ongoing maintenance of the project will be the responsibility of the city, with some exceptions:

  • Vegetation
  • Non-Standard Signage
  • Lighting
  • Utilities
  • Irrigation
  • Other structures not normally found in the right-of-way

Step 5: Potential Construction Items

  • Epoxy Striping & Thermoplastic Markings
  • Concrete Median
  • Permanent Bike Lane Buffers
  • Permanent Channelization
  • Raised Crossings
  • Raised Intersections
  • Traffic Circles
  • Mini Round-Abouts
  • Other items deemed appropriate by city staff

 

To submit a neighborhood traffic safety issue the City should know about, submit an online request here