Yesterday’s post about a New Zealand traffic calming program at Urban Velo reminded me of Neighborhood Pace Cars.
The Neighborhood Pace Car program enables residents to take control of traffic problems on their own streets without any intervention from a local government or highway department and without breaking any laws. In 2000, Australian activist David Engwicht worked with residents in Boise, Idaho to create the first neighborhood pace car concept to control cut-through traffic on what was once a quiet residential street. They created a humorous “pace car” decal for their cars, and drive the speed limit up and down the street to safely escort through traffic from one of their street to the other end.
Since then, the Pace Car program has expanded to Washington DC; Salt Lake City; Mesa, AZ; San Carlos, CA; Las Cruces, NM; Davis, CA; Freehold Township, NJ; Reno, NV; Santa Cruz, CA; and dozens of other locations.
Pace car volunteers sign a pledge to drive within the speed limit on local streets, stop for pedestrians, drive courteously, and display a Pace Car Sticker on their vehicles. Pace car drivers act as “mobile speed bumps,” slowing the flow of traffic behind them. The more Pace car drivers in a neighborhood the better it works.
Here’s another type of Neighborhood Pace Car.