State of the Art in the Management of Through Traffic in Residential Subdivisions

Report No: 77-R48

Published in 1977

About the report:

Through traffic in residential subdivisions results from motorists seeking shortcuts between two arterial roads, or trying to avoid saturated intersections of two arterial roads. Control techniques to reduce through traffic could be classified into internal, peripheral, or distributed within the residential areas. Internal traffic controls and controls to distribute traffic are provided along the through traffic streets and could be classed as (1) signs, (2) signals, (3) geometrics, and (4) pavement surface waviness. External traffic controls are applied at the periphery of the residential area instead of inside it. The devices usually employed for peripheral control are signals, signs, or improvement in the geometry of the intersection. The signs used for internal traffic control usually consist of 4-way or reversed stop signs, yield signs, 'No Trucks', 'One-Way', and 'Do Not Enter' signs. The effectiveness, advantages, and disadvantages of each sign are discussed in the report. Signals are expensive and their use is not recommended. Diverters, semi-diverters, 4-way stops, traffic circles, narrowing street width, one-way streets, and street closure are some of the geometric changes discussed. The disadvantages of bumps and dips and advantages of rumble strips are also given. The need for community participation and enforcement in the implementation of controls is stressed.

Disclaimer Statement:The contents of this report reflect the views of the author(s), who is responsible for the facts and the accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Commonwealth Transportation Board, or the Federal Highway Administration. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. Any inclusion of manufacturer names, trade names, or trademarks is for identification purposes only and is not to be considered an endorsement.


Other Authors

Nari K. Vaswani

Last updated: January 28, 2024

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