Left Turn Calming Pilot Project
In the fall of 2022, left turn calming will be added to three intersections where high-speed left turns are affecting pedestrian safety. The decision to add left turn calming bumps to the road was made after conducting reviews that looked at collision data and driver behaviour.
The three signalized intersections that have been identified for left turn calming are:
- Northmount Drive N.W. and 4 Street N.W.
- 26 Avenue S.E. and 36 Street S.E.
- 58 Avenue S.W. and 5 Street S.W.
The design of the speed bumps ensures vehicles will still have enough room to turn and traffic flow will not be significantly affected. Additionally, the rubber speed bumps are designed with a low height so that they don’t pose any significant danger if driven over by vehicles.
Left turn calming (also called centerline hardening) consists of temporary rubber speed bumps used to enhance roadway centerlines and improve pedestrian safety. The intent of left turn calming is to encourage drivers to make slower left turns. It also increases their awareness of other road users in the process.
Left turn calming has been implemented in other North American cities, including Toronto and New York City, with promising results for improving pedestrian safety.
How do they work
Rubber speed bumps are overlaid on top of the roadway centerline. These materials have reflective stripes attached to make them distinct to drivers and other road users. Drivers making a left turn at the intersection should slow down to an appropriate speed, so that they can turn into the proper lane while driving around the speed bumps.
By turning at a lower speed, drivers are also likely to complete their turn at a more perpendicular angle that allows for better visibility of pedestrians on both ends of the crosswalk. Larger vehicles may drive over the speed bumps, as required to navigate the intersection.
Following installation of left turn calming, each location will be monitored by The City to assess the design and identify any potential issues that may arise. The installations will remain in place into 2023, when further evaluations will be conducted to determine the feasibility of continuing the pilot project.