The City of Knoxville's traffic calming policy currently employs education and enforcement to address community concerns about high levels of speeding or cut-through traffic in residential neighborhoods. Presently the policy does not include the installation of physical traffic calming devices such as speed humps.
At the request of a citizen or a neighborhood organization, the city can evaluate a local, residential street to determine whether the speed limit should be lowered from 30 mph to 25 mph. The city's Traffic Engineering Division, which makes this decision, can also install 25 mph speed limit signs and rumble strips at the entrances to neighborhoods. The purpose of these measures is to alert or "educate" drivers that they are entering a neighborhood and to notify them of the appropriate speed.
Additionally, upon request by the Mayor, members of City Council, neighborhood organizations or individual citizens, the Knoxville Police Department will evaluate a street to determine if the traffic volume and excessive speeding justify including that street in its "Traffic Calming Enforcement Program." Under this program, an officer is assigned to cover that street for up to four hours per day for up to two weeks several times each year. In 2012, the last full year of statistics, off-duty KPD officers worked 9,624 hours in this program, issuing 19,577 citations and making 204 arrests.
Please note that the Traffic Engineering Division's position on installing All-Way Stops for speed control is that this is an inappropriate use of a traffic control device that does not result in an overall reduction in speed along a residential street. Also, the Traffic Engineering Division does not install "Children at Play" signs. These signs designate the street as a playground by letting kids know that it is okay to play in the street, and have been found to be ineffective at reducing vehicle speeds. Therefore, these signs actually create more of a hazard, and it has been a longstanding policy to remove these signs when found.
For resources on the use of stop signs and "Children at Play" signs for traffic calming, click here to see the Devices Considered Inappropriate for Traffic Calming Purposes.
For questions or further information, please contact either of the following:
Bill Cole, PE, PTOE
Traffic Engineering Division
1400 Loraine Street
Knoxville, TN 37921
Lieutenant Ronald Green
Traffic Services Coordinator
Knoxville Police Department