City of College Park, MD
Prince George's County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Added 12-10-1986 by Ord. No. 86-O-6; amended 9-10-1991 by Ord. No. 91-O-22; 12-10-1991 by Ord. No. 91-O-24; 6-13-1995 by Ord. No. 95-O-3; 10-28-1997 by Ord. No. 97-O-18]
The purpose of this article is to promote and maintain safe vehicular speeds on residential streets and to enhance the livability of neighborhoods. It is the intent of this chapter that city staff interact with citizens to identify traffic related problems and solutions thereto.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
CHOKER
These devices physically reduce the width of the road, thereby forcing the driver to reduce the vehicle speed to safely travel through the device.
EDGE LINES MARKINGS
These markings are used to delineate lane widths, thereby potentially reducing vehicle speeds. The area between the edge of the road and the lane marking can be used for parking in selected situations or as a bike lane.
INTERSECTION MODIFICATIONS
Changing the intersection by restricting through movements or raising the pavement height to effectively regulate vehicle speeds. These changes can also include reducing the corner radius at the intersections.
MEDIAN OR PEDESTRIAN REFUGE ISLANDS
These devices are generally used with multilane roadways. They are used to reduce the width of a road which can regulate vehicle speeds and provide improved pedestrian crossing opportunities.
ROAD MEDIANS
These devices can range in length, width and architectural features. They are effective in reducing the width of the street and reducing the turning radius of intersections.
RUMBLE STRIPS
These devices create tire noise and are used primarily to alert drivers to a change in road conditions.
SPEED HUMPS
These devices are designed to produce an elongated pavement rise that is designed to allow vehicles to travel over them safely, at or below the posted speed limit. These devices are typically considered when the average traffic volumes are greater than 500 vehicles per day and when 15% of the total volume of the traffic is exceeding the posted speed limit by five miles per hour or more.
TRAFFIC CALMING
The terminology used to describe various methods of reducing vehicular speeds and volumes on residential neighborhood streets. These methods typically require the installation of physical devices such as traffic circles, rumble strips, edge lines markings and speed humps that were developed for the purpose of discouraging vehicular speeding.
TRAFFIC CIRCLES
These devices are generally installed in intersections. The roadway alignment is deflected around the center island thereby reducing vehicle speeds.
In the regulation and supervision of traffic, the Public Works Director is authorized to place, install and maintain upon the public highways of the city those traffic calming devices (also known as "traffic control devices") which the Mayor and Council may direct at the locations designated by the Mayor and Council.
A request for the installation of a traffic calming device can be made by petition.
A. 
Petition request.
(1) 
Residents of a street can submit a petition to the City Manager requesting that a traffic calming device be installed on that street. The petition shall define the portion of the street for which the request for the installation of a traffic calming device is being made. The petition must be signed by at least 60% of the households that are located within 500 feet of the requested installation site and front the street for which the traffic calming device is requested.
(2) 
If a traffic calming device is requested for an intersection, the petition must be circulated to the residents living on all intersecting streets within 500 feet of the requested installation site.
(3) 
The City Clerk shall review the petition to determine the total number of eligible households residing on the street(s) and shall compute the percentage of households signing the petition. If that percentage is 60% or greater, the City Clerk shall validate the petition, forward it to the Director of Public Works and inform the Mayor and Council that a petition has been validated for the installation of a traffic calming device at a particular location.
B. 
To assist residents in petitioning for traffic calming devices, the City Clerk is authorized to develop and distribute a standard petition form to request the installation of a traffic calming device.
A. 
Upon receipt of a validated petition, the Department of Public Works shall evaluate the petition and conduct all necessary studies. A report shall be issued by the Department of Public Works within 90 days of receipt of a validated petition, provided that a traffic study can be conducted in accordance herewith. In the event that a traffic study cannot be conducted in a timely fashion, this time frame shall be extended by the Mayor and Council to a date certain. The report shall, if warranted, contain a recommended traffic calming method and a recommended installation site. The report shall take into consideration any hill, curve or street condition that may affect the placement of the traffic calming device.
B. 
Upon completion of the report, Public Works shall forward the report to the City Clerk. Upon receipt of the report, the City Clerk shall notify the Mayor and Council that a report has been received and request that a public hearing be scheduled regarding the petition.
A. 
Conduct of public hearing.
(1) 
After having been notified by the City Clerk that a report from the Department of Public Works pertaining to a petition for the installation of a traffic calming device has been received, the Mayor and Council shall schedule a public hearing to solicit the opinions of the entire neighborhood and the city at large.
(2) 
The City Clerk shall send notice of the public hearing to all residents of the street for which a traffic calming device is requested, to the local neighborhood citizen association and to the adjoining neighborhood citizen associations. The public hearing shall be advertised in a paper of general circulation in the city.
(3) 
After conducting the public hearing and declaring the hearing record closed, the Mayor and Council shall announce its decision within 45 days of the close of the hearing record. This time may be extended by majority vote of the Council.
(4) 
The Mayor and Council may approve, approve with modifications or deny the request for the installation of a traffic calming device.
(5) 
The City Clerk shall notify the petitioners and their neighborhood or civic association of the Mayor and Council's decision, which shall also be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the city.
B. 
Guidelines for evaluating a request for the installation of a traffic calming device. Petitions requesting the installation of a traffic calming device shall be evaluated in accordance with the standards established by the State Highway Administration and the Institute of Traffic Engineering Guidelines. The following criteria are intended to further guide the Mayor and Council in determining whether a request for a traffic calming device is reasonable and justified. These shall not be considered exclusive criteria:
(1) 
The street proposed for a traffic calming device has an identified speeding problem which cannot be alleviated any other way than by a traffic calming device. Such a problem can be identified through a combination of resident complaints, police radar surveillance and ticketing practices, accident statistics and the history of the previous efforts to control speeding on the street. Traffic calming devices will only be installed to address documented safety or traffic concerns supported by traffic engineering studies. Devices can be implemented individually or in conjunction with other traffic calming measures depending upon area conditions and characteristics.
(2) 
The street carries a higher volume of nonresidential traffic than would normally be expected. Streets considered for traffic calming must be primarily residential with a majority of residential homes and driveways fronting on the street.
(3) 
The installation of traffic calming devices shall be assessed for their potential impact on public transportation and fire and rescue operations.
(4) 
The potential impact of traffic calming devices on adjacent neighborhoods shall be assessed.
(5) 
If a problem is determined during the engineering study, the Department of Public Works will consult with the residents of the particular street and develop a plan for the type and location of traffic calming devices.
A. 
Upon request of 60% of the households of the street containing a traffic calming device and after six months have elapsed from the initial installation of the traffic calming device, the Mayor and Council shall consider removing or altering the traffic calming device.
B. 
In the event that no request for a study is made pursuant to Subsection A above, the Department of Public Works, not less than one year after implementation, shall perform a follow up, evaluation to determine the effectiveness of the implemented plan. This will include an evaluation of both traffic data and resident sentiment.
C. 
The request for removal or alteration must be made by petition subject to the procedures set forth in this chapter.
A. 
Upon recommendation of the City Manager, the Mayor and Council may initiate the installation of traffic calming devices on streets adjacent to neighborhood parks, playgrounds and schools.
B. 
Authority of city over traffic calming devices. Nothing in this article shall be construed as preempting the city, at its initiative, from installing, altering, maintaining or removing a traffic calming device. The City Manager will notify the appropriate neighborhood association and the affected residents of any proposed change to a traffic calming device. The residents and the association will have an opportunity to discuss the proposed change with the Mayor and Council before the change is adopted and implemented.
C. 
If, by decision of the Mayor and Council, a traffic calming device is deemed inappropriate for the petitioned instance, other physical speed control devices may be substituted.