Crowdsourced Traffic Calming

Traffic calming is an approach to moderating vehicular traffic speeds that relies on the psychological and practical effects of lane narrowing, speed tables, lane deflection and restricted access. It has important benefits including improving safety for pedestrians and cyclists. Approaches in use today rely on traffic engineering, community education, and police enforcement. Research reinforces the premise that all three approaches together are most effective. Communities such as the City of Palo Alto have provided neighborhoods the means to experiment with these techniques through the use of movable elements that can temporarily serve as curbs, traffic circles and other devices. Techniques for measurement, however, are basic – pneumatic counters and human monitors. Smart Cities will, in the future, use sensing, communication, computation, and actuation to create actionable insights that will improve city life. Many concepts for sensing traffic, air quality, pedestrian motion and other physical quantities have been proposed. Practical barriers such as the cost of wirelessly connecting these devices stand in the way of implementation. New wireless technologies exist that can reduce or eliminate these barriers. In particular, it is now feasible to contemplate the creation of a low-cost means to sense traffic flows and to allow citizens to engage in traffic science in their own neighborhoods. This project proposes to create a Crowdsourced Traffic Calming system that will connect traffic engineering to community education in a fundamental way. Smart, inexpensive sensors will be built into the familiar Botts Dots, creating BottsBots that can communicate wirelessly through a new, wide-area network supporting distributed, network-based processing. The data gathered will be visualized on a website called the BottsBotBoard, allowing community members to instrument and measure the effects of traffic calming experiments, quantifying the benefits and guiding a rapid-prototyping approach to reengineering streets for greater pedestrian and cyclists safety and reduced traffic noise.


    • English


    • Status: Active
    • Sponsor Organizations:

      Technologies for Safe and Efficient Transportation University Transportation Center

      Carnegie Mellon University
      Pittsburgh, PA  United States  15213

      Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

      University Transportation Centers Program
      Department of Transportation
      Washington, DC  United States  20590
    • Managing Organizations:

      Carnegie Mellon University

      Pittsburgh, PA  United States 
    • Project Managers:

      Ehrlichman, Courtney

    • Performing Organizations:

      Carnegie Mellon University

      Pittsburgh, PA  United States 
    • Principal Investigators:

      Iannucci, Bob

    • Start Date: 20170101
    • Expected Completion Date: 20170730
    • Actual Completion Date: 0
    • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers Program
    • Subprogram: DTRT-13G-UTC-26

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01645843
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: Technologies for Safe and Efficient Transportation University Transportation Center
    • Files: UTC, RiP
    • Created Date: Sep 6 2017 7:06PM