We want to encourage responsible driving and improve safety for everyone using our streets. At the city, we have three streams of traffic calming: formal, seasonal and resident-led.

On this page:

  1. Formal traffic calming
  2. Seasonal traffic calming
  3. Resident-led traffic calming

Formal traffic calming

This is when permanent physical changes like speed humps, road narrowings and speed cushions are made to roadways to reduce vehicle speeds. These changes require engineering to meet TAC (Transportation Association of Canada) standards, and input from residents, agency partners (such as transit, emergency services, and operations).

We maintain a list of the requests we receive for formal traffic calming. Every year requested streets are prioritized using data such as speed, collisions and volume and presented to Kitchener city council, who approve one project.

Choosing streets for traffic calming

We look at these factors when considering traffic calming on a street:

  • the roadway classification
  • traffic volumes and operating speed
  • collision history
  • are there sidewalks?
  • community destinations
  • present and planned cycling routes
  • impact on emergency services
  • impacts on transit service

Request traffic calming

To request that we add your street to the list that will be presented to council for next year’s project, send us an email.

When a street is approved

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

  • mail a survey to neighbourhood residents to ask if they support a traffic calming review
  • conduct a public meeting with residents to introduce the project
  • confirm and outline the existing traffic conditions
  • consult with emergency services and transit authorities
  • develop a design that balances everyone’s needs and expectations
  • present the design to the public;
  • ensure neighbourhood residents are in support
  • conduct a follow-up review to measure effectiveness and neighbourhood satisfaction

Seasonal traffic calming

We use temporary measures on a seasonal basis to improve road safety. These are usually roads high on our priority list that haven’t received a formal traffic calming project yet.

The seasonal program has two measures:

  • in-road flex signs
  • radar speed feedback boards

Every year we consult with Kitchener city councillors about the specific location of these measures in their ward. We work with our operations crews to install seasonal measures early in the spring.

Flex signs

These signs are installed in the centre of the roadway in spring and removed in the fall to avoid interfering with snowplows. The City currently has 80 of these signs, eight in each city ward.

Radar speed feedback boards

These are light-up signs that display an approaching driver's speed.

These are moved throughout the city, spending one month at each location and removed during the winter.

Resident-led traffic calming

You can lead a traffic calming project on your road with our help. Resident-led projects usually include things like painted crosswalks and intersections, “Watch for Children” boulevard signs and boulevard planters.

Learn about starting a Love my Hood resident-led traffic calming project.

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).