Traffic safety study at Calgary elementary schools

In 2020/21, The City of Calgary partnered with the University of Calgary on a traffic safety pilot project near elementary schools. We wanted to see if Traffic Calming Curbs (TC Curbs) and In-street pedestrian signs would have a positive impact on driver’s speeds and the number of people walking/biking. 

Based on the results, The City has decided to install In-street school crosswalk signs at all elementary schools (any school that includes Grade 6 or lower) in Calgary. TC Curbs will continue to be used at locations that are deemed to benefit from curb extensions.

Installation of the In-street pedestrian signs at all elementary schools (Grade 6 and under) will take place in 2023 and 2024. A work schedule with locations and dates has not yet been confirmed. 

Pilot background

The City installed traffic calming measures at intersections near 52 randomly selected elementary schools. We then helped collect speed data using pneumatic tubes and cameras to determine if motorists reduced their speed and if individuals walked/biked more often after implementation of the measures.

Speed and volume data were collected throughout the week prior to installation (pre-intervention data collection), and again the week following installation (post-installation data collection). Data for follow-up schools were collected in an identical manner as the post-installation data collection.

Traffic safety measures

During the study, each intersection received one of the following traffic calming measures:


The research team spent three weeks at each location.

  • Week 1: Pre-pilot data collection
  • Week 2: Installation of Traffic safety measures
  • Week 3: Post-pilot data collection

Speed and volume data were examined separately within three time periods at each school, morning (7:30 a.m. to 8:59 a.m.), class-time (9 2:59 p.m.), and afternoon (3 p.m. to 5:29 p.m.). Active transportation counts were made between 8 a.m. and 8:59 a.m. 

Findings and results

Analyses of speed data showed both the TC Curbs and In-roadway signs resulted in small reductions in vehicle speeds during important elementary school time periods. It also showed no significant changes in traffic volume or the number of people walking/biking.

While objectively small, it’s was believed the reduction in speed could result in meaningfully significant safety improvements for elementary school children. Based on this, The City conducted further testing.

Analyses looking at the longer-term changes in traffic speed and volume showed a continued reduction in traffic speeds at In-roadway pedestrian sign locations, especially during the morning and afternoon time-periods. This outcome was positive, as children are more exposed to vehicular traffic during these times. 

In-street school crosswalk signs are being installed with the goal of having the signs in place at all schools that include Grade 6 or lower by the end of the 2023-2024 school year.