Traffic calming

Suburbs

The City of Kitchener aims to encourage responsible driving and improve safety for everyone using our streets - drivers, pedestrians and cyclists. This aligns with our newly adopted Complete Streets Vision: 

Every street in Kitchener is safe, comfortable and convenient for all.

The City works towards this goal through three types of traffic calming, and more recently through a number of measures in response to how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the ways our residents use roadways - decreased vehicle traffic and an increased need for physical distancing for pedestrians and cyclists.

Our response calls for a number of initiatives  for active transportation (walking, running, cycling), including a number of Slow Streets, which would be temporarily changed to create slower and safer neighbourhood streets that are more comfortable for walking, rolling and biking. Streets designated as Slow Streets will not be fully closed to vehicle traffic but will be closed to through traffic – meaning only emergency vehicles, maintenance vehicles, delivery vehicles and people who live on the street are intended to have access. 

An interactive map of all our active transportation and traffic calming measures can be found here:

More information about our other traffic calming projects can be found below.

Traffic studies and projects

The City of Kitchener has three different traffic calming strategies – formal traffic calming, seasonal traffic calming, and resident-led traffic calming. We are also piloting three Safer, Slower Speeds neighbourhoods in which the speed limit has been reduced to 40 km/h across an entire neighbourhood. These initiatives are informed by, and consistent with, our Traffic Calming Policy

 Safer, Slower Speeds – 40km/h neighbourhood speed limit pilot

 Improving safety for all road users is a key priority for the city. Concerns about speeding in residential neighbourhoods are one of the most common pieces of feedback we receive. Reduced neighbourhood speed limits were also identified as a priority through the Neighbourhood Strategy Initiative's consultation process.

As a result of this feedback, the city conducted a study of all collisions in Kitchener over the past five years. Although 95 per cent of collisions were between vehicles, collisions between a vehicle and a pedestrian or cyclist were the cause of 70 per cent of collision-related serious and fatal injuries. In a collision between a vehicle travelling at 50 km/h and a pedestrian, the likelihood of survival for the pedestrian is only 15 per cent. This survival rate increases to 75 per cent if the vehicle speed is reduced to 40 km/h.

In light of this, the City of Kitchener has begun a pilot project to evaluate the impact of reducing speed limits from 50 km/h to 40 km/h in three residential neighbourhoods. In the two identified neighbourhoods which include schools, the existing 40 km/h speed limit in school zones will be reduced to 30 km/h.

  How to drive in the pilot area
ENTERING: When you see a "40 km/h AREA BEGINS" sign, be aware that all roads in the area have a speed of 40 km/h.

EXITING: When exiting the pilot area, you will pass a "40 km/h AREA ENDS" sign. Please remember to drive cautiously, carefully, and courteously on all roads.

SCHOOL ZONES: School zones within the pilot neighbourhoods have a posted speed limit of 30 km/h. When entering the school zone, you will see a “30 km/h BEGINS” sign, and when exiting the school zone you will see a “30 km/h ENDS” sign. You will still be within the pilot area, so watch for the "40 km/h AREA ENDS" sign to know when you're leaving the pilot area.

More information about the proposed pilot can be found in staff report DSD-19-159.

 Safer, Slower Speeds Zone One - Huron Park

Zone One is bounded by Fischer Hallman Road, Huron Natural Area and Huron Road. 

Simplified map of zone 1

A detailed map of the pilot neighbourhoods can be found here:

 Safer, Slower Speeds Zone Two - Doon South
 Zone Two is bounded by Homer Watson Boulevard, Conestoga College Boulevard, New Dundee Road, Reidel Road, Caryndale Drive, Stauffer Drive, Tilts Bush and Schneider Greenway.

Simplified map of zone 2

A detailed map of the pilot neighbourhoods can be found here:

 Safer, Slower Speeds Zone Three - Idlewood
Zone Three is bounded by River Road East, Ottawa Street North, Lackner Boulevard and Fairway Road North. 

Simplified map of zone 3

A detailed map of the pilot neighbourhoods can be found here:

 How will residents be made aware of the lower speed limit?
Speed limit signs will be posted at the entry and exit points of each neighbourhood, eliminating the need for new signage on each roadway within the designated area. Residents of the pilot neighbourhoods will receive a mailed notification, advising them of the pilot and the expected duration.

Information about the pilot will be promoted through the city’s social media channels and website to generate awareness for residents who may pass through the pilot neighbourhoods.

 Why is the speed limit being reduced in entire neighbourhoods?
It is easier for motorists to be made aware of entire neighbourhoods with a lower speed limit and adjust their behaviour consistently, compared to lower limits on individual streets scattered across the city.
 Will the 40km/h limit be expanded to other neighbourhoods?
At this time we are conducting a limited pilot project in only the three identified neighbourhoods to better understand the impacts, challenges, and costs associated with a 40 km/h speed limit.
 Project timeline
This pilot began in November 2019, and will run for a year. The city’s Transportation team will monitor the three neighbourhoods for the duration of the pilot, and report their findings to council in fall 2020.

For more information about the proposed pilot in staff report DSD-19-159.

  • Phase 1 - Planning
                ◦ Winter 2019 - Summer 2019 
                ◦ Project initiation and planning, required approvals to proceed
  • Phase 2 - Implementation
                 ◦ After council decision, fall 2019
                 ◦ Public communication and education, manufacture and installation of new signs
  • Phase 3 – Monitoring and Analysis
                 ◦ Fall 2019 – fall 2020
                 ◦ Monitoring and data collection
  • Phase 4 – Evaluation and Recommendations
                 ◦ Fall 2020
                 ◦ Analysis of the collected data and report to council

 

Formal traffic calming

Formal Traffic Calming introduces permanent physical changes to the roadway to reduce vehicle speeds. These can include measures such as speed humps, roadway narrowings and speed cushions. The City maintains a priority list of all streets for which Formal Traffic Calming has been requested.

We use a formula to rank the streets on this list in order of priority, taking into consideration traffic volume, vehicle speeds, collisions, sidewalks, community destinations, and present and future cycling facilities. We collect data on speeds and volumes using Automatic Data Recorders (ADRs), which are two rubber tubes placed across the roadway. Our ADR program aims to collect one week of data from many roads in the city on a three-year rotation.

This information is then uploaded into our Formal Traffic Calming Priority List, enabling data-based prioritization. Each year, we initiate Formal Traffic Calming projects on three of the highest-ranked streets, which are approved by council. The list currently includes approximately 180 streets.

Traffic calming study process:

When considering a street for traffic calming, we review several factors, including:

  • Roadway classification
  • Traffic volumes and operating speed
  • Collision history
  • Sidewalks
  • Community destinations
  • Present and future cycling facilities
  • Impacts on emergency services
  • Impacts on transit service

If a street is approved for a traffic calming project, we:

  • mail a survey to impacted residents to confirm their support for a traffic calming review;
  • conduct a public meeting with residents to introduce the project;
  • confirm and outline the existing traffic conditions;
  • develop a preferred design that balances the needs and expectations of all stakeholders, including emergency services and transit;
  • present the design to the public;
  • ensure neighbourhood residents are in support of the recommended traffic-calming measures before implementation;
  • conduct a follow-up review of any implemented measures to ensure their effectiveness and neighbourhood satisfaction.
Seasonal traffic calming

Seasonal traffic calming is a program to address locations that have been identified as a concern by residents, but are generally too low on the Formal Traffic Calming Priority List to receive permanent physical measures in the near future.

The seasonal program has two measures – in-road flex signs and radar speed feedback boards. The in-road flex signs are installed in the centre of the roadway in spring and removed in the fall, due to conflicts with snow-clearing equipment. The City currently has 80 of these signs – and eight (8) are installed in each ward. Radar speed feedback boards are light-up signs that display an approaching driver's speed.

These are rotated through a number of locations within the city, spending one month at each location and removed during the winter. Each of these measures has been shown to reduce vehicle speeds by about 3 km/h on average. We conduct annual meetings with each local councillor to determine suitable locations for the seasonal measures installed in their ward.

 Resident-led traffic calming

Resident-led traffic calming is a grassroots approach in which residents can lead traffic calming initiatives on their roads with the City’s guidance. This can include strategies like painted crosswalks and intersections, “Watch for Children” boulevard signs and boulevard planters. Examples of painted crosswalks include Lancaster Street East at Chapel Street (Suddaby Public School), and Franklin Street South at Wilson Avenue (Wilson Avenue Public School).

A painted intersection was recently completed by local residents at Duke Street East and Cameron Street North. There is also grant money that may be available to fund the initiatives. Resident-led traffic calming helps build community awareness around the issue of traffic safety. If you and your neighbours are interested, below is a link to help you get started.

https://www.lovemyhood.ca/en/tools-money/traffic-calming.aspx

Traffic-calming studies

 2019 reviews

 Holborn Drive

Deer Ridge Drive

Robert Ferrie Drive (Doon South Drive to South Creek Drive)

2018 reviews

Caryndale Drive

  • The preferred design for Caryndale Drive was approved by city council on March 4, 2019. Construction is expected to begin during the summer of 2019. 
  • For more information, please contact Steven Ryder at 519-741-2200, ext. 7152. 

Old Chicopee Drive

  • The preferred design for Old Chicopee Drive was approved by city council on March 4, 2019. Construction is expected to begin during the summer of 2019. 
  • For more information, please contact Steven Ryder at 519-741-2200, ext. 7152.

Patricia Avenue - Victoria Street South to Highland Road West

  • The preferred design for Patricia Avenue was approved by city council on March 4, 2019. Construction is expected to begin during the summer of 2019. 
  • For more information, please contact Steven Ryder at 519-741-2200, ext. 7152.

2017 reviews

Daimler Drive

  • The preferred traffic calming plan for Daimler Drive was implemented during the summer of 2018. We are currently in the one (1) year review period where post-installation data collection will occur. 
  • For more information, please contact Steven Ryder at 519-741-2200, ext. 7152.

Fallowfield Drive

  • The preferred traffic calming plan for Fallowfield Drive was implemented during the summer of 2018. We are currently in the one (1) year review period where post-installation data collection will occur. 
  • For more information, please contact Steven Ryder at 519-741-2200, ext. 7152. 

 Max Becker Drive

  • The preferred traffic calming plan for Max Becker Drive was implemented during the summer of 2018. We are currently in the one (1) year review period where post-installation data collection will occur. 
  • For more information, please contact Steven Ryder at 519-741-2200, ext. 7152.

2016 reviews

Sims Estate Drive

  • The preferred traffic calming plan for Sims Estate Drive was implemented during the summer of 2018. We are currently in the one (1) year review period where post-installation data collection will occur. 
  • For more information, please contact Steven Ryder at 519-741-2200, ext. 7152.

2015 reviews

Parkvale Drive

  • The preferred traffic calming plan for Parkvale Drive was implemented during the summer of 2018. We are currently in the one (1) year review period where post-installation data collection will occur. 
  • For more information, please contact Steven Ryder at 519-741-2200, ext. 7152.

 

Past traffic-calming studies

2016 reviews

David Bergey Drive

Doon Mills Drive

2015 reviews

Rittenhouse Road

Zeller Drive

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