Traffic Safety and Concerns

Introduction

Like you, we want our families and neighbors to be safe while walking, biking, and driving, and that usually means looking for ways to slow down vehicles.  With almost 250 miles of roads serving more than 11,000 homes and businesses however, traffic, cyclist and pedestrian conflicts invariably occur.

The Town uses a combination of enforcement, traffic calming, and education to avoid and minimize these conflicts.  When we hear concerns from community members, we have our Traffic Safety Team review them.

Considering Conflicts

The Town maintains a list of traffic, cyclist, and pedestrian safety concerns received from residents and our Police and Highway Departments.  Each concern is reviewed monthly by our internal Traffic Safety Team, an inter-departmental team with representatives from the Police, Highway, and Planning Departments, in addition to our Engineering Division and the Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee.

For concerns relating to traffic, our first step is to review available information on accidents, enforcement activity, and traffic citations in the area of concern.  We then may deploy a covert traffic counter to gather data on vehicle speeds, traffic volume, and travel times.  These counters are hidden from motorists and are typically deployed for 7-10 days to give us an objective picture of traffic patterns there.

In most cases, we can address concerns through increased enforcement and temporary placement of mobile trailers that remind motorists of their current speeds.  In some cases, however, additional traffic calming approaches may help.

"Traffic calming" measures are physical changes to road corridors to slow down vehicles or reduce the number of vehicles on certain roads.  Examples of traffic calming include smile/frown signs that show speeds, roundabouts, planting street trees, and speed bumps.

A common misperception is that stop signs are an effective traffic calming measure.  While they are very good at helping reduce the risk of collisions, our consulting traffic engineers advice that they are not good for slowing speeds.

Bethlehem Safe Streets Education Campaign

Our mission is to make the streets of Bethlehem safer for all road users.  The Bethlehem Safe Streets campaign highlights the importance of slowing down and sharing the road with others.  It is focused on spreading awareness about the importance of slowing down, and we need your help to make it a success.  We believe that everyone has a role to play in creating safer streets, and we encourage you to get involved in any way you can.

Sharing the road means being aware of and respectful towards other road users including pedestrians, cyclists, and other drivers.  By practicing safe driving habits and being considerate of others on the road, we can create a safer and more welcoming community for everyone.  Whether it is through volunteering, sharing our message on social media, or simply making a conscious effort to share the road with others, every little bit counts.  By working together, we can make a difference in our community and create a safer environment for everyone.

Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee

The Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee focuses on addressing bicycle and pedestrian mobility in the Town.  The committee's mission is to advise the Town, educate the community, and advocate for opportunities to improve mobility and connectivity for bicyclists and pedestrian in Bethlehem.