In the last six months traffic calming has become a hot topic in Farragut. When the Board of Mayor and Aldermen adopted a revised traffic-calming policy in November 2018, multiple neighborhoods inquired about slowing traffic and improving pedestrian safety.
Traffic calming is typically referred to as measures that reduce the negative effects of motor vehicles, alter driver behavior and improve conditions for non-motorized street users. Traffic calming can include vertical deflections (i.e. a speed cushion), horizontal shifts or roadway narrowing to reduce speeds and enhance the street for non-motorists.
Prior to November 2018, only interior residential streets were eligible for traffic-calming measures; however, BOMA revised the policy to include a group of local collector streets (defined in the Town’s major road plan) where most of the parcels are residential. If you have a question about the classification of your road, don’t hesitate to contact the Town.
With the recent influx of traffic -calming applications, I wanted to take the opportunity to provide more information about the Town’s policy and discuss the process for applying for, designing and implementing a calming measure. The Town’s traffic calming policy is a detailed document, so I won’t include all the information here, but if you would like to read the policy it can be found on the engineering page of the Town website (townoffarragut.org/trafficcalming).
In order to initiate a traffic-calming study, a group of residents (typically three to five) must complete an application and submit it to the Town. There are two applications: one for a neighborhood with a homeowner’s association and one for a neighborhood without an HOA.
Residents in a neighborhood without an HOA can complete the appropriate application through the Town’s new online portal (mygovermentonline.org) and submit it to the Town. If the traffic-calming request is in a neighborhood with an active HOA, the application must also include signed meeting minutes from a recent HOA meeting that show approval of the application by the HOA Board; both documents can be completed and uploaded as described above.
Once the Town has received the application, it will be checked for compliance with the traffic-calming policy. If the application is complete and accurate, engineering staff will conduct speed studies within the areas identified on the application to determine if traffic calming is warranted. If traffic calming is not warranted based on the results of the speed studies, the application will be closed and a subdivision cannot re-apply for a period of two years.
If the study indicates calming is warranted, a traffic team with three to five residents and engineering staff will meet to review design options prepared by the engineering department. The chosen design will be presented to the neighborhood and surrounding residents during a public meeting.
If feedback from the public meeting is positive, the proposed calming solution will move to a vote with residents from the area impacted by the design. The public vote lasts 30 days and requires a 65 percent majority of returned ballots for the application to proceed to design approval by the Farragut Municipal Planning Commission and funding approval by BOMA.
If the measure passes the FMPC and BOMA, the traffic-calming measure will be installed by the Town.
I hope this information provides clarification on how the Town’s traffic-calming policy is executed. Town staff and the Board do not have a preference for or against the installation of traffic calming measures, but assist with the design and implementation.
Ultimately, the installation of traffic calming is up to the residents within the affected area.
Town of Farragut