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February 27 2012

Traffic calming history: Europe


Picture of a urban area

Traffic calming began in Europe in the late 1960’s in an effort to change driver behaviors to make streets safer for children, pedestrians and cyclists.

Frustrated by cut-through traffic rendering their streets unsafe, residents of the Dutch city of Delft turned their street into an obstacle course for motor vehicles and a safe place for their children. 

For more information about our traffic calming solutions, please take a look at our traffic safety page.


The first traffic calming solution

This first traffic calming solution, called “living yards”, or “Woonerven”, slowed traffic and lessened volume with the placement of tables, benches, sand boxes, and parking bays extending into the streets.


Fitting out Dutch woonerven


Woonerven were endorsed by the government nearly a decade later in 1976.

In the following years, the idea spread to other countries and regulations and laws were created to govern the dimensions and locations of the "woonerf" designs.  


larger roads

While effective for small low-volume streets, the woonerf designs slowed vehicles to 9 km/h and were thus impractical for larger and more frequently traveled roads.

The theory of employing physical measures to deter vehicle speed had already proven effective and experimentation began to conceive of similar ideas that would be less costly and more adaptable to larger streets.

Two types of measures were considered in addition to Woonerven:
1. Street closures or one-way streets and
2. Physical deterrents such as speed bumps and similar traffic calming measures.

Traffic calming was judged to be the most efficient and cost-effective of the three alternatives.



The first traffic calming programs

The first citywide programs began in the early 1980’s when both Norway and Denmark were confronted with the problem of intercity traffic speeding through small towns.

Unable to afford the exorbitant cost of building bypasses around each town, the government installed measures such as chicanes, roundabouts, chokers and other physical measures throughout local streets.

With the installation of these measures, there was a significant reduction in speeds, fewer accidents, and better air quality.

Many other cities throughout Europe followed suit with programs of their own.  


Sino concept: your traffic safety manufacturer



road bump and road speed cushion manufactured in China


As there are many accidents, increasing environmental consciousness etc., traffic calming still plays a big role these days.

That is the reason why Sino Concept provides a wide range of traffic calming solutions, such as speed bumps and speed cushions.

Made from preformed recycled rubber our speed hump and speed cushion is environmentally friendly, fast to install, and simple to remove and reuse.

Are you interested in our traffic calming products? Please feel free to take a look at our traffic safety page.



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