Traffic Calming

Traffic Calming

Traffic calming is a technique to reduce the impacts of traffic on neighbourhoods and public facilities such as parks, school areas, and community centres.  Traffic calming has been used to:

  • Improve neighbourhood livability,
  • Increase road user safety,
  • Implement crime prevention programs through road closures and one-way streets, and
  • Promote urban redevelopment.

Traffic Calming Devices

In areas that can benefit from traffic calming, there are a number of devices that can be used, including:

  • signs such as “traffic calmed neighbourhood” signs,
  • curb extensions,
  • traffic circles,
  • raised median islands,
  • raised crosswalks or intersections,
  • speed humps,
  • raised medians and more.

Many factors must be considered when considering installing the appropriate traffic calming device.

Installing traffic calming devices can help to reduce vehicle speeds, volume of traffic and road user conflicts. However, they can create delays, require police enforcement to be effective, restrict access and increase maintenance time for snow clearing, garbage collection and more.

Careful assessment must be done before installing traffic calming devices. 

Artificial turns in a road created by a traffic calming device known as a chicane.
Chicane
 

Curb extensions on a road create additional space for pedestriansor ancillary uses.
Curb Extensions
 

A traffic circle in the middle of two opposing lanes.
Traffic Circle

Speed hump on an urban street.
Speed Hump

Raised crosswalk on an urban street.
Raised Crosswalk
 

Textured crosswalk on a busy downtown street.
Textured Crosswalk

Diverter on a quiet urban street to prevent drivers from cutting through to another road.
Diverter
 

Raised median on a quiet urban street.
Raised Median
 

Partial closure of an opposing lane on a busy urban street.
Partial Closure
 

Full closure at the end of a through road.
Full Closure