Street Trees Promote Traffic Calming

Tree-lined streets provide many benefits beyond a lovely view. Their presence improves air quality, reduces noise, helps conserve energy and calms traffic. Yes, tree-lined streets can promote traffic calming. The mere presence signals to motorists that they are approaching a populated area (with potential pedestrians and bicyclists), triggering motorists to check their speed and, if needed, slow down.

Field studies have confirmed that when trees are present along streets, there is a change in motorists’ behavior with a traffic calming effect. According to a study in Germany, “Streets having a landscaped center strip or median planting may alter drivers’ perception of lane width and therefore reduce driving speeds by way of a psychological effect.” This psychological effect, also known as an “edge effect,” cues motorists to drive more slowly; slower vehicle speeds are associated with fewer crashes and less severe injuries. 

Radar driver feedback signs are also proven to reduce speeds by triggering drivers and transitioning their brain activity, making them more aware of their surroundings and speed. Studies repeatedly show that when alerted by a radar sign, up to 80 percent of speeders WILL slow down. Typical average speed reductions are 10-20 percent, and overall compliance with the posted speed limit will increase by 30-60 percent.

Charlie Robeson: Radarsign™ Co-founder & Director of Sales and Marketing