A gateway is a physical or geometric landmark that indicates a change in environment from a higher speed arterial or collector road to a lower speed residential or commercial district. They often place a higher emphasis on aesthetics and are frequently used to identify neighborhood and commercial areas within a larger urban setting. Gateways may be a combination of street narrowing, medians, signing, archways, roundabouts, or other identifiable feature. Gateways should send a clear message to motorists that they have reached a specific place and must reduce speeds. This can help achieve the goal of meeting expectations and preparing motorists for a different driving environment. Gateways are only an introduction and slower speeds are not likely to be maintained unless the entire area has been redesigned or other traffic-calming features are used.
Gateways can create an expectation for motorists to drive more slowly and watch for pedestrians when entering a commercial, business, or residential district from a higher speed roadway. They also create a unique image for an area.
Traffic-slowing effects will depend upon the device chosen and the overall traffic-calming plan for the area.
The cost of a gateway sign can range from approximately $100 to $500. The cost of gateway structures can range greatly depending on the specific type of items chosen. Some gateway structure treatments options are: monument signs (approximately $19,000), street spanning arches supported by metal posts within bulbouts (approximately $64,000), and gateway columns ($10,000). More detailed cost information can be found here.