- Narrow the street
Streets are usually designed to maximize traffic flow, and roadbeds are
typically wider than they need to be if the design goal is merely to
allow access. Narrowing streets to the minimum reasonable widths is quite
effective in slowing cars down. To set the scale, the width of Buena Vista
at the intersection with Galisteo is 18'. In the city's 'Urban Design
Guidelines', a street whose function is 'residential neighborhood access',
has a curb-to-curb distance of 16'.
- Introduce curves
If there is enough space, a straight street can be turned into a winding
trajectory, typically in conjunction with plantings and parking spaces in
- Changes of pavement
Changes in the road surface, even without height changes, tend to cause
cars to slow down, especially if the new surface look like they might be
pedestrian territory. Blacktop, cobbles (real or stamped), colored
concrete and brick are options.
Another place where changes in pavement can be used is in the way parking
spaces are implemented. Normally, when a street has curbside parking,
blacktop (or concrete), is laid smoothly from curb to curb. This means that
when there are no cars parked, the width available to cars is almost twice
as wide as when there are cars parked on both sides. What you can do
instead, is to have the actual road surface be blacktop, and the parking
spaces made out of a different material, such as cobbles (a bumpy surface
is ok for parking, but not for driving), or concrete.
If the curb merely is a boundary between the blacktop and wide-open dirt
or concrete, the street will seem wider (to motorists) than if there is
something placer right along the curb. This includes plant boxes,
railroad-tie raised beds, or shrubbery without boxes.
Rows of trees along one or both sides of the street also make the street
visually smaller, resulting in lower speeds.
- Bumps, humps and dips
Speed bumps are effective, but not well-loved by the public. They are also
not friendly to city buses. This last problem can be solved by making the
bumps only as wide as the space between the buses wheels, so they can
straddle the bump. Cars however have a narrower wheelbase, and therefore
cannot avoid these bumps.
Dips are as effective as bumps, and they can double (or pretend to double)
as drainage channels.
Humps are gentle rises, followed by a longish raised section, after which
the surface goes down again to the original level. Typically these are
combined with changes in surface texture and color.
- Street widths: Valley drive got narrowed in spots to calm
Buena Vista, between Galisteo and Don Gaspar, is 18' on one
end and 19' on the other. On-street parking is allowed!
- Plantings: Valley drive, in the narrowed spots.
- Surface changes: In Los Alamos, in front of the post office
and library, the trick with the different parking space
surface is nicely implemented.
In White Rock, the red-cocnrete stamped cobbles are used to
mark a bicycle path crossing.
- Bumps: ( there is this neighborhood off Rodeo Road )