Traffic calming in Australia: a definition and commentary (1991)

Australia has been a world leader in implementation of measures to moderate the impacts of traffic in living areas. We have called this 'Local Area Traffic Management' or 'Residential Street Management'. Similar measures have been applied in many other countries, modified to suit their local conditions. In Germany, measures to support 30 km/h speed limits and zones of care and to improve street environments (similar in type and scope to those in Australia) have been described as 'verkehrsberuhigung'. This translates as 'traffic pacification' or 'traffic calming'. Recently, the latter term has been used to describe a much wider concept of traffic management and suppression in cities. Exaggerated claims have been made about the extent of application and success of such programs. This paper points out the distinction between theory and practice, suggests a way of seeing these approaches to 'traffic calming' as complementary, and points out the nature of social and structural changes that would be required to achieve the traffic calmed cities currently being visualised. Three levels of traffic calming are identified, and a distinction is drawn between physical or management measures on the one hand, and social or cultural characteristics on the other. Doubt is expressed about the reliability of theories of travel as a function of urban character, and our ability to implement them effectively.

  • Availability:
  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Australian Road Research, 21(2) June 1991, pp. 37-54 Developed from 'Traffic calming - fact and fiction.' Local Government Engineers Association of W.A. Eighth State Conference, Perth, March 1991. Technical Papers Volume 2.
  • Corporate Authors:


    Melbourne, Victoria  Australia 
  • Authors:
    • Brindle, R E
  • Publication Date: 1996-3


  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: 253-70
  • Monograph Title: Residential area planning for pedestrian safety (1978)
  • Serial:
    • Issue Number: 53

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01437443
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: ARRB
  • ISBN: 086910697X
  • Files: ATRI
  • Created Date: Aug 24 2012 8:41PM