Neighborhood Traffic Calming

istock_000004519561xsmall.jpgThe goal of this program is to promote safe and pleasant conditions for pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists on neighborhood streets, using a process in which residents work with City staff to address traffic and safety problems.  The City will prioritize requests for traffic mitigation based on documentable criteria, in order to make the best use of limited public resources.

Solutions to neighborhood traffic problems will be chosen from a “tool kit” of traffic-calming measures described in City of Sebastopol Traffic Calming Guidelines prepared by Whitlock & Weinberger Transportation Inc. for the City in January 2003.

This program encourages a collaborative approach by Citizens, working with City staff in all phases of neighborhood traffic management activities.

To initiate a request for neighborhood traffic calming, contact the Sebastopol Police Department at (707) 829-4400.

Application for Neighborhood Traffic Calming

Any individual or group of neighbors may submit an application to the City for Neighborhood Traffic Calming.

In your application, describe the location and nature of the problem, and provide primary contact information. In completing the application, you should try to be as specific as possible in defining the problem in your neighborhood. Provide as much information as you can, including photos and sketches if they are useful in describing the problem.

The fee for an application for an initial evaluation is $100.00.

Evaluation Process

Once an application is received the Police Department will make an initial evaluation of the problem, and will consult with other City staff and consultants as required, and will recommend appropriate measures. There are three primary tools which can be used to address neighborhood traffic problems — Education, Enforcement and Engineering.

Education and Enforcement

Some neighborhood traffic problems may be addressed through relatively simple means such as enhanced enforcement, use of a speed trailer to monitor vehicle speeds, improved signage, distributing educational materials to households in the neighborhood, or working with a neighborhood group.


If the problem is persistent and serious, the Police Department may recommend that the neighborhood request a more detailed evaluation and consideration of physical improvements to the roadway to mitigate the problem.

Petition for Preliminary Analysis

Neighborhoods may petition the City to conduct an analysis of the problem and determine whether physical improvements to the roadway are warranted. In order to qualify, at least 50% of the households immediately affected by the problem and any potential solutions must indicate their support by signing the petition. Each household represents one vote.

The analysis will consider the problem in terms of the following criteria:

Eligible Streets

Local streets and residential collectors.

Primary Thresholds

  • Traffic Speed 15% of traffic exceeding posted limit by more than 5 mph
  • Accidents reported
  • Traffic Volume: >500 ADT on local streets, and >1000 ADT on residential collectors

Secondary Criteria

Other factors that will be taken into account include proximity to schools, parks and other pedestrian destinations, lack of sidewalks, accessibility and special needs issues, bicycle accessibility, roadway characteristics, and so on.


On receipt of a petition and fee deposit, City staff and consultants will conduct a preliminary analysis to verify that the problem meets threshold criteria for a Traffic Calming Project. Staff will develop preliminary recommendations for a solution and hold a neighborhood meeting to discuss the results of the analysis, recommended treatments, estimated cost of projects and funding options. If the neighborhood is in agreement to proceed with a project City staff will develop a workplan, budget and funding proposal for approval by the City Council in the City’s Capital Improvement Plan. A deposit of $750.00 is required to be submitted along with the petition to cover staff and consulting costs.

Project Funding

Because the City has extremely limited funding available to pay for the costs of engineering analysis, neighborhoods submitting these requests will be asked to pay for this work. Likewise, funding for improvement projects may depend on the financial participation of those who will benefit most from them -- neighborhood residents -- in order to move forward to construction. The City will continue to look for ways to fund projects of general City-wide benefit through developer fees and grants, and using City funds as the budget situation permits.

Contact the Sebastopol Police Department (707) 829-4400 for more information.