People should know to drive very slowly through car parks, but the reality is that they need reminders. Posting a speed limit clearly is essential, but it isn’t enough. Most car parks need traffic calming products such as rubber speed ramps, speed cushions and traffic bollards. Picking the right traffic calming products requires a bit of research and consideration. You have options, more than you might realize. So you need to know what traffic calming products are available and which will meet your car park safety needs.
First up, traffic calming products are not all created equal. In fact, you have three distinct categories of traffic calming products that get lumped together. Speed ramps, speed bumps and speed cushions are not the same. They are designed to meet different needs. Which you chose depends on what type of traffic will be going over them.
Speed Ramps, Speed Bumps and Speed Cushions
Speed ramps are designed to slow all traffic that crosses them. If they are going in a lane that cars, bikes and pedestrians share, they should be sized to all bikes and pedestrians a flat space at the edge of the lane. Rubber speed ramps come in a variety of heights and widths to suit different situations. They are an improvement on cement speed bumps because they stand up to the elements and withstand wear and tear better. Speed ramps are perfect for spots where you need cars to slow down, such as long straight stretches of lane in your car park.
Speed bumps are round rubber disks that can be installed on a traffic lane in a pattern that allows bikes and pedestrians to stay on a flat surface. This is a good solution when you just need to give drivers a gentle reminder to slow down. They give less of a jolt to a car than speed ramps do. They can also be positioned alongside a traffic lane to act as a rumble strip or ‘buddy strip’ to get drivers’ attention if they veer out of their lane. Traffic bollards are another way to keep cars in their lane.
Speed cushions are different. They are designed to slow cars while allowing larger vehicles such as trucks to avoid them. Speed cushions work in pairs. They are a set of two large rectangles placed side by side so that ordinarily the wheels of a car would cross them, but it is possible for a driver to pull to the side so their tyres go on either side of the speed cushion. Drives must slow do to that, so they achieve their purpose either way. Speed cushions are good for lanes shared by cars and delivery trucks. On public roads or at medical facilities, they allow ambulances to pass without the patient inside being jostled by a speed bump.
If you are responsible for car park safety, you’ll want to first study traffic flow through the area and consider what type of traffic uses what areas within the car park. Then you can chose the optimum traffic calming products to promote safety.