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Posted on 01/09/2020

How Do I Keep Drivers from Speeding on My Street?

Speeding on residential streets is a common concern. The City of San Ramon has a Residential Traffic Calming (RTC) program designed to help residents address concerns related to traffic and vehicle speeds in local neighborhoods.

Here’s how it works:

Step 1: Resident Requests Speed Calming Measures

Residents can submit a request for traffic calming through the City of San Ramon’s Citizen Request Management (CRM) System, or by calling the Public Works Transportation Division at (925) 973-2650.
  • To submit a request through the CRM, click here.
  • Click on “Ask a Question or Make a Request”. 
  • Select “Speeding/Traffic Complaint”. 
  • Log in or create a new account including your contact information so a member of City staff can respond to your request with more information/updates. 
  • Submit your request with as much detail as possible (dates, times, and specific locations help City staff better understand and address a request).

Step 2: Active Monitoring

After receiving a request for traffic calming, the City actively monitors the street in question, observing such items as vehicle speed, traffic levels, and pedestrian and bicyclist activity. On average, this requires a week or more, factoring in prioritization among other requests, etc. Further investigation could include the use of a radar trailer speed display or a random sampling collected through a mechanical device (handheld radar) to document and evaluate the nature of the problem.

One key measure that will be examined is what is known as the 85th percentile speed. This is the speed at which 85 percent of the traffic is travelling at or below. Ideally, the 85th percentile speed matches the posted speed limit, but results within 5 mph are also acceptable. If we find the 85th percentile speed to be within 5 mph of the posted speed limit, it is considered an appropriate speed for the roadway and no further action will be taken.

If it is determined there is a speeding issue, then the process will move forward with Step 3.

Step 3: Calming Measures

In order to reduce speeds, the City may use tools such as radar speed display signs, police enforcement, and street re-striping to narrow lanes and slow drivers, depending on the conditions observed, proximity to schools and the geometric factors of the street. 

Stop signs have been found to be ineffective in reducing traffic speed, since drivers typically speed up in between stops.

If speeding persists, physical measures, such as speed humps, turn restrictions, or other measures outlined in the Residential Traffic Calming (RTC) Toolkit may be considered, at which staff conducts a Residential Warrant analysis as described in Step 4.

Step 4: Engineering Evaluation

To qualify for physical traffic calming measures, specific traffic conditions must exist. Data is collected to perform a thorough analysis, which includes traffic speeds, traffic volumes, traffic collision history, neighborhood citation history, pedestrian and bicycle volume, and other existing roadway geometric conditions.

The data is compared with what is called a Residential Warrant, a series of engineering-based criteria that outlines the standards for a street that would benefit from physical traffic calming measures. Criteria may include minimum traffic volumes, average vehicle speeds above the limit, qualifying collision history, and a moderate level of pedestrian and bicycle activity.

Engineering standards are also used to determine where physical traffic calming measures would be placed, subject to approval.

If the Residential Warrant is met, the process will move forward to Step 5.

Step 5: Community Input

For physical traffic calming measures to be considered, 75% of affected residents who reside on the street must sign a petition indicating their support for the City to initiate the process to study the placement of physical traffic calming measures, such as speed humps.  If 75% of affected residents who reside on the street do not sign the petition to support the Study, it will not move forward for implementation.

Upon receipt of petition and verification of 75% of residents on affected street support the Study, the City initiates the process to identify the location and placement of each speed hump.  You are considered an affected resident if the physical traffic calming measures are proposed to be installed along the street directly in front of your house.

Neighborhood residents will have opportunity to comment during the speed study and approval process. When a speed study begins, the neighborhood where physical traffic calming measures are being considered will be notified within a minimum 1,000 feet of the project street, and given the dates of public meetings (Transportation Advisory Committee, City Council) where the project will be discussed, and where public comment can be made.

Step 6: Approval / Rejection

If a project street meets the Residential Warrant and at least 75% of the affected residents approve, the Transportation Advisory Committee can recommend the project.

If recommended, the project is presented to the City Council where residents will again have the opportunity to comment, and the City Council will vote to approve or deny the project.

The approval process can vary in length, but often takes at least 6 months due to the engineering studies and public outreach.

Throughout the process, resident feedback is essential to ensure community concerns are addressed.

Step 7: Installation of Physical Traffic Calming Measures

If the project is approved, the physical traffic calming measures will be installed by the City when a funding source is determined and appropriated.   Depending on the physical traffic calming measures, the project could take 6 months to 2 years for funding approval, design, and installation. The City will inform the neighborhood of the progress and important milestones until the project is complete.

Once the project is complete, the City will conduct an “after” analysis to verify the effectiveness of the physical traffic calming measures.


What local government processes would you like to hear more about?

Submit your #AskCityHall question by calling 925.973.2500, emailing, or mailing a question to us at Ask City Hall, City Manager’s Office, 7000 Bollinger Canyon Road, San Ramon CA 94583