Traffic Calming: An Equivocal Concept

The work on traffic calming that we are publishing includes two series of documents and an evolving index of traffic-calming measures and strategies, also to be posted on a section of our website. The first series of documents allows us to present the results of our review of the literature on the effects of traffic calming on certain population health determinants. The second series is intended to provide some conceptual background and policy references.

In this document, belonging to the second series, we introduce the concept of traffic calming by examining the various historical perspectives that have been proposed of interventions designated by this concept.

First, the expressions chosen for the translation into English and French of the concept originating from the German “verkehrsberuhigung” will be presented. Then, an overview of some of the ways it has evolved historically will allow for a description of the diverse goals, objectives and means associated with this concept.

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