Council are talking to neighbourhoods and trialling various speed-calming measures in Nelson.

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Road humps

The term ‘road hump’ is generic. Road humps are constructed to different sizes and shapes to cater for different locations and situations. Indeed, any traffic calming scheme can contain a variety of hump types. Humps can be rounded and flat topped or be used to raise the level of a road at an intersection to the height of the footway (intersection plateau).

Sinusoidal approach ramps

These make humps more comfortable for buses, cyclists and emergency services to travel across. A sinusoidal speed hump has a gradual change of gradient and is designed to lead the vehicles to the hump in a smoother motion, but it is not as effective at slowing vehicles down. A sinusoidal profile is more comfortable for people on bikes. It is important to take the longitudinal gradient of the road into account, as this will affect the exit sides of the hump and the wrong choice can lead to the underside of vehicles scraping on the ground. 


Speed cushions

Speed cushions are small rectangular humps, resembling a seat cushion in shape. They are approximately the width of a car and usually placed in rows of 2 or 3 across the road width. Cushions are rarely used individually but tend to form a series on a street or across as an area-wide treatment to maintain uniform speeds. Cushions are particularly good at offering traffic calming benefits without significant adverse effects on bus or emergency service access.

Road-narrowings (including build-outs and chicanes)

A road-narrowing is a device that narrows the road between two kerb lines. These often take the form of two build-outs constructed on opposite sides of the road, with the minimum allowable carriageway width maintained through the narrowing. These controls are difficult to place without adversely affecting drainage, street frontages or on-street parking.

Road narrowings are good for locations where speed is a problem, but the noise and vibrations associated with vertical deflection measures would be unacceptable. They may be used with speed cushions to manage vehicle paths, either in the narrow section, or in the traffic lanes either side.

Road narrowings can be designed for two-direction or single direction traffic flow, with alternating give-ways if used in series along the road. Such give-ways tend to deter through-traffic. Road narrowings work best where the flows in each direction are relatively balanced. If the traffic volume in one direction is too low, there could be little opposing flow to force drivers to give way