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25mphReminder that the City of Bristol Virginia adheres to a citywide speed limit of 25 mph unless otherwise posted.

  1. Antonio Jemes

    Transportation Planner

  2. Janice Hall

    Driver Supervisor





1. Local Streets: The City maintains a database of streets that are classified as local streets.  A local residential street provides access to abutting residences and serves only to provide mobility within the neighborhood.  These streets are eligible for traffic calming provided that they do not appear on the Metropolitan Planning Organization’s network of major thoroughfares and the posted speed limit does not exceed 25 mph.  Streets that are located within a new subdivision must have at least 75% of the platted lots fronting that street occupied.


2. Documented Speeding Problem: A written request from a property owner must be made to the City to request speed data for a candidate street.  If current data (less than one year old) is available for that street then no additional speed data will be collected.  If the City does not have current data for that street then a speed study will be performed.  A street is considered eligible if the 85th percentile speed is at least 10 mph over the speed limit in at least one direction.  Accordingly the 85th percentile speed should be at least 35 mph to qualify.


3. Petition for traffic calmingIf the proposed street meets the above technical criteria, a petition requesting traffic calming and signed by at least 75 percent of the property owners within the petition area must be obtained. The petition area includes residences on the proposed street section, and residences on all streets that have primary access onto the proposed study street section. The City will define the petition area and provide a petition form. 


4. Evaluation:  If numbers 1-3 are satisfied then the City will perform an engineering study do determine the feasibility of installing a traffic calming device.  The engineering study will include but shall not be limited to the following items: slope of the roadway, driveway entrances, street length and width, existing and proposed traffic control devices, and development patterns to determine the best location for traffic calming devices and what type of devices are appropriate.


5. Approval: After the engineering study is completed, staff will make a recommendation to the Transportation Safety Commission who will have the final decision on whether or not traffic calming devices will be installed. 




1. Community awareness and education is an important first step. The residents should be made aware of the speeding concerns and should be reminded of the importance of driving safely in their neighborhood.


2. Enforcement is traditionally the primary means of addressing speeding problems. City police officers monitor and enforce the posted speed limit. Enforcement efforts should be undertaken as much as possible prior to implementation of traffic calming measures.


3. Non-physical measures are low-cost measures that do not physically restrict driver maneuvers. These include the following:

·         Pavement Markings

·         Modifications to Signage


4. Physical measures are designed to reduce speed by creating a vertical or horizontal shift in the roadway or travel lanes. These include the following:

·         Speed Humps

·         Chokers

·         Raised Crosswalks





Traffic volumes on the residential street will determine the appropriate traffic calming measures as follows:

·  Fewer than 400 vehicles per day

-  education

-  police enforcement

-  non-physical measures

·  400- 1,000 vehicles per day

-  education

-  police enforcement

-  non-physical measures

-  physical measures

·  More than 1,000 vehicles per day

-  education

-  police enforcement

-  no traffic calming measures

Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) Traffic Alerts: