Traffic Calming Kidney

Here’s an interesting way to overcome some of the objections from the emergency services to traffic calming. An article by Garcia and Moreno in Asfalto discusses the use of a traffic calming measure called a speed kidney in Valencia, Spain.

Click to access files_50603c1ddabee.pdf

A speed kidney offers drivers the choice of deviating and slowing from a straight path or crossing a raised section of roadway similar to speed hump operation.

On a practical level some expertise would be required to construct these which might make them expensive.

Anyone in the USA want to try them?

December 2012

Screen shot 2012-12-18 at 9.44.39 PM

Photo from Asfalto []

10 Responses to “Traffic Calming Kidney”

  1. Ana Moreno Says:

    You may find more information about the speed kidney and in English on the article published last month at the ITE Journal (ITE JOURNAL / DECEMBER 2012. A New Traffic-Calming Device: Speed Kidney).

    The cost is similar to speed humps even though they require a more experienced constructors because it uses less material.

    As far as we know, it has been implemented only in Spain with good results. However, there are contacts to construct some in Canada. It would be great to find more implemented around the world.

  2. Says:

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  3. Michael Somers Says:

    I head up the TC program in Delaware. Something like this might be useful to add to the toolbox. My primary concern is the contractors’ fineness. Most would bid with the expectation that this is just another pile of asphalt and they may not have the expertise to it right. I had a similar problem the first time we installed speed cushions. I made them redo them twice and they never got them just right. I have asked my design consultant to research this and develop prototype design plans. I have a community I’m working with where these could be useful. If anyone hears of someone doing this in North America, please let me know.

  4. Ana Moreno Says:

    As Mr. Sommers says, the speed kidney requires the development of prototype design plans prior its construction. I was coordinating the development of the speed kidney in Spain and we can certainly assist you and your team on the design and construction of the devices. If you desire, you can contact Prof. Alfredo Garcia ( or me ( for more information. The design is protected with patent in Spain and it is about to be extended to the US and Canada.

  5. Peter Partington Says:

    I have been out of the country and am just catching up.
    I have to agree with Michael Somers that the construction of ‘Kidneys’ would be challenging. I experienced all sorts of problems with contractors building initial speed humps to specification. It’s one thing having a set of drawings but another executing them correctly in asphalt. However once the designs have been implemented correctly the first time that process should be easily repeated.
    Thanks for your offer here, Ana. Could you please comment on what the effect of protecting the design with a patent means for an agency considering their implementation. Thanks.
    Peter Partington

  6. trafficcalming Says:

    In response to my question in my previous comment about the effect of protecting the kidney design with a patent, I am reproducing Ana Moreno’s response to me [with her permission]:

    “I will comment on the effects that the patented design could have for the state DOTs and the cities and municipalities. Basically, every interested DOT or city should agree with the Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV) to pay an annual royalty without any restriction in the number of developed units during the whole year along their highway network. Therefore, any agency with the agreement would be free to contract the construction of speed kidneys with many companies. This could be one of the agreement modalities.”

    Peter Partington

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  9. American Antigravity Says:

    An impressive share! I have just forwarded this onto a co-worker who was doing a little homework on this. And he actually bought me lunch simply because I stumbled upon it for him… lol. So allow me to reword this…. Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending time to discuss this subject here on your web page.

    • Peter Partington Says:

      Thank you for your kind words. Iā€™m glad you found it interesting. Good to know there are people reading these things.

      Peter Partington

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