Traffic Calming

Frequently Asked Questions

What is traffic calming?

Traffic calming slows speeding traffic on residential streets without restricting access to them.

Is any road a candidate for traffic calming?

VDOT's traffic calming program applies only to streets maintained by VDOT and is intended for existing, neighborhood streets that provide direct access to residences where the speed limit is 25 mph or less. It is not intended for high-speed, high-volume roads whose primary purpose is to move traffic.

How does my community initiate traffic calming in our neighborhood?

Local community members should contact their local county board of supervisor or town council member who should confirm that the street is eligible for consideration under VDOT’s traffic calming program.  For eligible street(s) a request for a study may then be made by representatives of the neighborhood (e.g. Home Owners or Civic Association) to the board supervisor or town council member.

Who decides on the traffic-calming plan?

A conceptual traffic calming plan is developed by the homeowners association or other community group and must be approved by at least 60% of the affected residents in the community, endorsed by the board or town council and then approved by VDOT.

What types of measures can be used?

A range of traffic calming options are offered in VDOT's “Traffic Calming Guide for Neighborhood Streets” depending on the level of traffic volume on the street(s). Non-intrusive devices do not physically restrict vehicles and include pavement markings and signs. Horizontal, vertical and narrowing devices involve constructions on the road that restrict vehicle movements such as chicanes, speed humps or chokers.
The video below discusses various aspects of VDOT’s traffic calming program and demonstrates some of the traffic calming measures available.

Who pays for these measures?

The county or town may use their funds and any local VDOT funds that are available. The availability of VDOT funding depends on their priorities.

How do I get more information on traffic calming?

See VDOT’s Neighborhood Traffic Programs at for further information and a link to VDOT’s “Traffic Calming Guide for Neighborhood Streets” which lays out the complete process and procedures to be followed for traffic calming as well as the various traffic calming devices that may be used.


Page last modified: Jan. 16, 2018