Department of Public Works Issues Speed Cushion Program Review

Published on April 17, 2024

The Syracuse Department of Public Works issued a data-driven analysis of speed cushions in city neighborhoods that finds the paved traffic calming installations are reducing vehicle speeds. The Speed Hump/Cushion Program Review is available at

The report assessed seven locations where speed cushions were installed in 2022. Mobile radar equipment was used to gather speed data before and after the installation of speed cushions at each site. The radar data showed all installation sites experienced speed reductions with some locations dropping between 11 and 19 miles per hour.  Reducing vehicle speeds by even a few miles per hour has been shown to greatly reduce serious and fatal injuries.

The review revealed no adverse impacts on the safety of pedestrians, bicyclists or drivers at speed cushion sites. It also found speed cushion sites do not negatively impact surrounding infrastructure such as drainage and pavement condition.

The Upstate Chapter of the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) honored the pilot program with the Transportation Project of the Year award, acknowledging the Department of Public Works' (DPW) systematic and data-driven methodology as a model for other communities. The speed cushion program is part of Syracuse’s drive to become a member of the Vision Zero Network, an international program to eliminate all traffic fatalities and severe injuries — while increasing safe, healthy, equitable mobility for all.

Based on the findings in the review, the pilot program will be extended to cover a third season. A final determination of the program’s effectiveness is anticipated in the second half of 2024.