Fergus Falls to pursue calming effect of trees

Associated Press

FERGUS FALLS, Minn. -- Forget speed limits and stop signs, this north central Minnesota town wants to slow traffic using soothing tree canopies.

The technique, known as traffic calming, uses the feeling of enclosure created by looming trees to slow motorists. Fergus Falls officials have applied for a grant of nearly $300,000 from the U.S. Department of Transportation to fund the project, which would focus on two stretches of road that have few boulevard trees.

Traffic calming has been shown to be more effective in slowing drivers than posting a lower speed, said Fergus Falls Public Works Director Clifton Allen.

To qualify for the grant, the project requires the city to match 20 percent of the grant money. The city would have to pay $58,264.

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