Traffic calming

Suburbs

Traffic calming methods are in place to encourage responsible driving and improve safety for everyone using our streets - drivers, pedestrians and cyclists.

We receive several requests from different neighbourhoods across our city on an annual basis, asking us to install traffic calming measures along their streets to slow down drivers.

We assess these requests, based on the terms of our traffic-calming policy, and choose three streets each year to be the subjects of formal traffic-calming studies, which help determine whether traffic-calming measures would make sense in those areas.

Safer, Slower Speeds – Phase 1

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. 

This pilot will begin in fall 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.

Where will the speed limit be lowered?

Three neighbourhoods have been selected for the pilot:

  • Zone One is bounded by Fischer Hallman Road, Huron Natural Area and Huron Road.
  • 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.
  • Zone Three is bounded by River Road East, Ottawa Street North, Lackner Boulevard and Fairway Road North.

A 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.

Traffic Studies

Traffic-calming study process

With every street we study, we consider several factors, including:

  • traffic volumes and operating speeds along street(s)
  • collision history
  • adjacent land use
  • impacts on emergency services
  • transit stops
  • other road amenities
  • Once we've collected all of the data, we:
  • Conduct public meetings with the affected residents;
  • Confirm and outline the existing traffic conditions;
  • Develop a set of design options we believe will address the traffic issues, and present them to the public -- including a recommended option;
  • Ensure affected residents are in support of recommended traffic-calming measures before implementation; and
  • Conduct a follow-up review of any implemented measures to ensure their effectiveness and neighbourhood satisfaction.

Ongoing 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

Neighbourhood initiatives

Traffic-calming measures led by neighbours, such as painted crosswalks and intersections, are one of the highest priorities for our #lovemyhood neighbourhood strategy.

We work closely with neighbourhoods to implement creative approaches to slow down drivers along their streets.

An excellent example of this collaborative approach is our city's first community roadway mural, painted at the intersection of Wilhelm and Ahrens streets.

Designed and painted entirely by the surrounding community, the mural was piloted in 2015 as an option to calm traffic. Watch the following video to see how this innovative, inspiring neighbourhood project unfolded.

 

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