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Public Works

Neighborhood Traffic Management Program Procedures

The following procedures are considered typical for receiving, responding to and managing residents’ requests for neighborhood traffic management. Metro Public Works will apply this process to all requests received. Variations in this process may be approved by Public Works when deemed appropriate due to unique circumstances.

Step 1: Contact with Public Works

A neighborhood association representative contacts Public Works to discuss neighborhood traffic problems or concerns. If a citizen calls, Public Works will work with that citizen and offer solutions to his/her concern. Metro Public Works will encourage him/her to work through the neighborhood association to participate in this program. This program is intended to treat an entire neighborhood.

Step 2: Field Inspection

Metro Public Works will send a representative to investigate traffic concerns and evaluate the neighborhood conditions to see if an unusual traffic condition exists. The Public Works representative will contact the person or group to review his/her findings. The decision on how to proceed is determined by Public Works.

Step 3: Preliminary Analysis of Neighborhood Problem

Metro Public Works performs any necessary data collection and analysis to assess and quantify the traffic and safety conditions in the neighborhood. Metro Public Works staff identifies the tentative study area, collects preliminary information from their files, and completes any needed traffic analysis. Staff will refer to the following guidelines when evaluating the magnitude of traffic and safety problems; determining potential for improvement using traffic management program; and establishing priorities for project implementation according to the following:


Speeding problems exist when speed study shows the 85th percentile of the traffic is traveling greater than 35.75 miles per hour (35.75 MPH is the average 85th percentile speed on residential streets in Davidson county). The standard speed on residential streets is 30 miles per hour. All streets will be ranked on speed; those with higher speeds will be ranked higher than those with lower speeds.

Cut Through Traffic

A traditional home will generate between eight (8) and ten (10) trips daily, so you could expect a neighborhood with 100 homes to have a daily traffic volume between 800 and 1000 without any additional outside traffic. To qualify, a neighborhood must show that speeding vehicles are not local residents. Cut-through traffic is typically quantified by estimating actual traffic generation from within the affected area (License plate surveys may be conducted to more accurately determine the amount and nature of vehicles “cutting through.”) and from outside the neighborhood or street. Cut-through traffic should represent at least 50 percent or more of the street’s total DTV to justify traffic management program efforts.

Accidents - Pedestrians, Bicycles, Autos

Accident history may be considered in the ranking system when there are three (3) or more reported accidents along a single residential street within twelve consecutive months. The length of the roadway shall be no longer than half a mile for purposes of accident history. If the roadway is longer it shall be divided into lengths of approximately one-half mile.

Street Grades and Alignment

Some physical traffic management devices will not be installed on streets with grades exceeding eight percent, or where a combination of vertical and horizontal alignment would result in inadequate stopping sight distance for motorists encountering these devices. These situations will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Transit, Emergency, and School Routes

Traffic management devices are not typically installed on streets serving as a designated transit route, primary emergency access route or, school bus routes.

Step 4: Neighborhood Involvement

Neighborhood representatives submit an application to Public Works that the neighborhood wishes to participate in traffic management efforts. Metro Public Works staff reviews the application. If appropriate, Metro Public Works will introduce a Step approach to the neighborhood, starting with driver education and enforcement. If these techniques are not successful based on an engineering study/assessment, the neighborhood may move to more aggressive techniques. This process continues until a successful solution is found.

Step 5: Education and Enforcement

Metro Public Works staff will schedule the neighborhood to receive monthly education and enforcement traffic management techniques. Metro Public Works, in cooperation with Metro Police, will schedule officers to enforce speed limits during rush hours. In addition, radar speed trailers are used to educate drivers and raise their awareness level while traveling on residential roads.

Step 6: Traffic Team

Metro Public Works staff and representatives of other potentially-affected Metro agencies will meet with the traffic team to discuss traffic problems and concerns, potential solutions, set goals, and define affected area. The traffic team will create a plan based upon a list of available options for the neighborhood. These options will ultimately be petitioned for final neighborhood approval. Metro Public Works shall be responsible for final approval of the “affected area” to be petitioned.

Step 7: Approval Process

To proceed further with traffic management program project design and implementation, a positive response must be obtained by 67 percent or more of the total number of residents in the effected area. Only one vote shall be allowed per residence (owner). All original responses, including those votes cast in opposition to the proposal, shall be provided to Public Works. The purpose of this process is to obtain neighborhood approval the traffic management techniques proposed by the traffic team.

Step 8: Project Implementation

When a traffic management program project has received the necessary neighborhood support, Public Works staff schedules implementation of the project based on funding availability. Depending upon the number of traffic management program requests received and the available funding for design and construction, a project may be placed on a waiting list and prioritized based on the neighborhood’s ranking. Ongoing landscaping will be the responsibility of the neighborhood. Any necessary property dedication or landscape maintenance agreement shall be completed prior to final project installation. The landscaping must be maintained by the neighborhood association as stated in the landscape agreement or Public Works will act in accordance to the agreement. Certain techniques may be installed as trials, while others may be more permanent installations. All installations will be monitored and evaluated by Public Works staff for effectiveness.

Step 9: Monitoring and Evaluation

After completion of each Step of the project, Public Works staff will evaluate the effect. Traffic counts, speed studies and other data collection will be taken as needed. If the project has not met its objectives within the monitoring period, staff will notify the traffic team. Metro Public Works staff and the traffic team may then consider moving to the next level of traffic management techniques. Once the goals have been achieved, the project will be considered finished without relevance to the particular Step or phase it was in. If all stages of a project have failed to meet set goals, the Traffic Team will re-evaluate the situation and plan further stages.

Step 10: Removal of an traffic management program Project

If Public Works decides that the project should be modified or removed for public health and/or safety reasons, Public Works shall remove or modify the traffic management technique. If the neighborhood decides that the traffic management devices should be removed or significantly altered, the neighborhood must furnish petitions and signatures of more than 67 percent of households in support of the removal or alteration. The neighborhood may be asked to share in the cost of removal or alteration of the project. The neighborhood is not eligible for any other traffic management program for a period of seven (7) years. The roadway must be left in a safe condition that meets Public Works requirements.