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Neighborhood Programs

Traffic Calming

Neighborhood Traffic Calming helps ensure safe transportation conditions on Tacoma’s neighborhood streets. We respond to resident’s questions and concerns regarding speeding, traffic safety, traffic signs, and similar issues.


Arterial projects are prioritized based on safety, equity, and connectivity and are generally grant-funded. For information on upcoming capital projects, visit www.cityoftacoma.org/capitalprojects.


Frequently Asked Questions

Below are a series of Frequently Asked Questions about Traffic Calming in neighborhoods.


Who has the right-of-way at an intersection?

Pedestrians (including people bicycling or rolling on the sidewalk) have the right-of-way at unsignalized intersections unless otherwise posted, and drivers are required by law to stop for them – whether or not there is a marked crosswalk or curb ramps. 

Under State law, when two vehicles approach an intersection with no stop signs at about the same time, the driver on the left shall always yield to the driver on the right. This is also true for intersections that have a traffic circle or all-way stops. 


Wouldn't additional speed limit signs help to slow traffic?

In Tacoma, the speed limit on residential streets is 20 mph. For a map of City speed limits, visit www.cityoftacoma.org/visionzero. Given limited resources, the City does not generally install speed limit signs on non-arterial streets. Speed limit signs are installed on arterial streets where the speed limit changes, and at periodic intervals along the street.


What is the City doing about people who speed on our street?

The City of Tacoma uses a number of strategies to help calm traffic on residential streets such as traffic circles, bulbouts, speed humps, and diverters.


An evaluation can help determine the right tools and the right places. To request an evaluation for your street – submit a See Click Fix request with a description of current conditions.  


Given limited resources, the City prioritizes traffic calming on streets based on safety data (such as crashes, documented speeds, and traffic volumes). Traffic calming may also be installed as part of a larger street project (i.e. a Safe Routes to School Project or bicycle boulevard).


What can our neighborhood do about people who speed on our street?

Speeding is a concern for many of our residential neighborhoods, and addressing this concern requires active participation by residents working in strong partnership with the City.  Neighbors can change driver behavior and be a good role model by:

  • Parking legally, specifically on-street (not on gravel or paved planting strips) and encouraging your neighbors to do the same. This helps reduce the effective width of the roadway which lowers speeds. Just be sure you’re following parking rules, like parking at least 20 feet away from a marked or unmarked crosswalk – to make it easier for people driving to see and stop for pedestrians.
  • Following the speed limit and encouraging others to do the same.
  • Working to increase the number of people who walk, roll and bike in your neighborhood - by using active transportation & encouraging neighbors to join you! When more people use these modes – it reduce traffic volumes. Plus - drivers learn to expect people walking and rolling and slow down (this is known as the “safety in numbers” effect).
  • Planting trees – check out the City's Grit City Trees Program!

Permanent traffic calming should be done in a phased approach starting with ensuring that Tacoma and the community have a clear and common understanding of the concern. The City seeks ways of educating the drivers that use the street, whether they live in your neighborhood or elsewhere.  As we move through the process, we might identify relatively simple measures (such as reconfiguring parking on your street or adding bike lanes), or develop traffic calming projects that are both feasible and fundable. To begin the process for evaluating traffic calming infrastructure like speed humps or traffic circles, submit a See Click Fix request with a description of current conditions.  

A traffic circle near us needs the landscaping maintained, who do we call?

Traffic circle landscaping is not maintained by the city, but rather by community volunteers. Those volunteers do their best at keeping the landscaping in good condition. However, if you feel a traffic circle is becoming overgrown, or if you are interested in volunteering to help maintain an existing traffic circle, submit a See Click Fix request

What about installing Children at Play signs?

The City of Tacoma does not install these signs. We want drivers to be aware that children could be present on or near any street. We also don’t want either children or their parents to feel that such signs make children safer. It is important to note that in jurisdictions where such signs have been installed, they were shown to have no effect in reducing collisions or vehicle speeds.

Contact Information

Please email us with questions.