The Effectiveness of Traffic Calming Pinch-Points
Research investigated the effect of roadway widths for street narrowings or "pinch-points" in Christchurch, with a particular focus on speed and yielding behaviour. A 6m wide 2-way pinch-point was found to be not effective in slowing most private vehicles down. Drivers travelled at a similar speed whether they were crossing the pinch-point by themselves or with opposing traffic approaching. Approximately 40% of drivers reduced their vehicle speed when negotiating a 5m wide 2-way pinch-point. Around 20% of drivers avoided traversing with oncoming traffic and opted to wait until it was clear before proceeding. Male drivers also tended to travel faster through the narrowing when compared to female drivers. For a 4.5m wide 1-way pinch-point where motor vehicles and cyclists approached them simultaneously, one of them gave way and waited nearly60% of the time. Around 35% of the time cyclists and motorists shared the narrowing and 8% of the cyclists (mostly younger children) avoided the narrowing, using a bypass instead. It is recommended that further research be conducted: 1. at more sites with different road widths and environment; 2. with heavy vehicle movements on these pinch-points; 3. to understand whether a longer pinch-point will alter driver behaviour.