You\u2019ve seen the bumper stickers: \u201cSlow down in town.\u201d They\u2019re an often futile attempt to encourage speeding motorists to be more respectful of the neighborhoods they zooming through, especially of the pedestrians. I wouldn\u2019t exactly call it road rage, but why is it that when we\u2019re behind the wheel our goal is to get on down the road as fast as traffic will allow, the speed limit be damned? Of course in our own neighborhoods our interests are reversed. We curse \u201cthose idiots\u201d who speed down our local streets ignoring the signs (\u201cDrive Like Your Kids Lived Here\u201d). Increasingly, local neighborhoods are serving as short-cuts around clogged arterial streets, spreading out the traffic into our sleepy, bucolic \u2018burbs. But there is a way to enforce the speed limit without radar traps. It\u2019s what traffic engineers call \u201ctraffic calming.\u201d You might not know that the first U.S. city to develop a master plan for neighborhood traffic calming was Hartford. And the second city will be Stamford. Work is also underway in New Canaan and New Haven. More than just \u201cspeed bumps,\u201d engineers have a slew of street re-designs in their repertoire that can force us to reduce our speed. Among them: \u2022 Speed tables: Think of these as extended speed bumps with a 6-foot-long ramp up, a 10-foot-long flat table and a 6-foot-long ramp down. \u2022 Roundabouts: Small traffic circles with landscaping in the center make us slow down as we go around them, eventually taking a right turn to continue our journey. \u2022 Chicanes: These are the stubby picket-fence-like mini-roadblocks seen on some private streets, alternating their placement on the right and left sides of the road, forcing drivers to make a zigzag maneuver down the street. The same effect can be achieved by placing parking spaces alternately on the right and left sides. \u2022 Bulb-outs or neck-downs: These are extensions of the sidewalk into car parking areas at corner crossings. Again, you gotta slow down. \u2022 Sidewalks: It\u2019s amazing how many of our communities lack these pedestrian amenities, forcing hoofers to compete for space on the asphalt with cars. Sidewalks get pedestrians out of the traffic and encourage us to walk and leave the car at home. \u2022 Crosswalks: What a concept! A place where pedestrians have the right-of-way over cars, sometimes even mid-block and without the need for stop signs or red lights. \u2022 Roadblocks and mazes: These were inspired by anti-crime efforts in drug-dealing neighborhoods (\u201ccrime calming\u201d), making it hard for drive-through drug buyers to find their way in and out of a neighborhood. Residents know how to maneuver the maze, but casual short-cutters won\u2019t try it again. Of course, all of these traffic calming techniques assume that the major traffic arterials, where the cars belong, can be kept flowing with their own traffic tricks. Otherwise, we\u2019re just spreading the gridlock into the neighborhoods. Jim Cameron is the founder of the Commuter Action Group and also serves on the Darien RTM. The opinions expressed in this column are only his own; reach him at CommuterActionGroup@gmail.com.