Speed Cushion Pilot Project

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We want to hear from you!

The City of Raleigh is evaluating a traffic calming device that is new to the city called a speed cushion.  Speed cushions have the potential benefit of lessening the impact to city and emergency services by allowing vehicles such as fire engines or buses to straddle the speed cushion with little to no impact as they pass over it.  Cyclists will also benefit by having the ability to easily avoid the speed cushion by riding between them.

Speed cushions are designed so that single occupancy vehicles, which are usually the leading cause of neighborhood speeding, are the main mode of transportation impacted since they will not be able to straddle the speed cushions and must drive over them.

The speed cushions that are being placed as part of this project are of a similar size and profile as the current asphalt speed humps used throughout Raleigh.  Treatments that are the size and shape of the speed cushions we being placed have been designed to encourage speed compliant behavior, with the vast majority of cars driving at speeds in the range of 23 mph – 27 mph.  As S State St has a speed limit of 25 mph, this design speed aligns with the speed cushion design specifications.

rubber speed cushions

The speed cushions are made of compressed rubber from recycled materials.  The recycled rubber acts as a noise absorber so when vehicles drive over them, it will lessen the already minimal noise impacts to the surrounding residents.

S. State St was chosen as the pilot project location because it was the highest qualifying street that met all the criteria in Section 10 of the NTMP policy.  Those criteria include:

  • The street must already be eligible for a future traffic calming project
    • Based on the most recent evaluation S. State St had approximately a 7-mph speed compliance issue (32 mph in a 25 mph zone) and there were 3 speed related crashes in the previous 3 years
  • The street length shall be approximately ¼ mile in length or shorter
  • The street must have successfully completed a speed limit reduction from the statutory 35 mph set by the NC General Assembly
  • The street must have curb & gutter on both sides of the street
  • The street must have an average daily volume of approximately 1,200 vehicles per day or less
  • The street cannot be on the Raleigh Fire Department’s priority route list

We want to hear from you!

Survey has closed!

During the pilot period, we want to hear from you.  Complete our survey to leave comments based on your experience with the speed cushions.  You can also call or email the NTMP group to discuss and provide comments.  The goal of this project is to evaluate a new traffic calming treatment style, but more importantly, we want to improve the quality of life of the residents along S State St by ensuring vehicles are speed compliant as they drive on the street.


Pilot Completion:

Once the pilot project is completed on October 31, 2021, staff will coordinate a neighborhood meeting to hear directly from you to gather more feedback and to hear firsthand how this project has impacted your street and neighborhood.  Staff will also share data from evaluations performed during the pilot period meant to measure the effectiveness of the speed cushions on vehicle speeds.

If the pilot is deemed a success, you and your neighbors will be given the option to make the pilot project permanent.  This will be in the form of a ballot to all the residents along the street.  The ballot will be mailed to each individual residence immediately following the neighborhood meeting at the conclusion of the pilot.

A minimum approval rating of 50% + 1 from the responding residents will be needed for the pilot to become permanent.

We look forward to this pilot program and look forward to working with you and your neighbors in an effort to improve speed compliance along this section of S. State Street.



Will Shumaker
Traffic Calming Administrator

Service Categories:
Traffic Engineering