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Community traffic studies

Community traffic studies aim to reduce the negative impacts of traffic in neighbourhoods. The main objective is to influence driver behaviour through the implementation of a traffic management plan and traffic calming measures.

The focus of traffic calming is to address existing and measurable traffic problems. Examples include speeding problems, short-cutting traffic through neighbourhood streets, and pedestrian and cyclist issues. The location of traffic calming measures is influenced by the needs of emergency response services, along with other design considerations. Calming measures are typically installed on local and collector streets only and do not necessarily reduce traffic volumes.

Community traffic study application process (updated May 2019)

The City of Calgary is currently undertaking a review of residential speed limits, a key factor in how we assess, prioritize, and design traffic calming measures. The outcomes of the review are expected to address many of the concerns that community members regularly raise through the Community Traffic program and Traffic Study applications and may result in traffic calming measures being installed in many locations across the city. The project team is analyzing three scenarios for speed limits, and will be coming back to the Standing Policy Committee on Transit and Transportation no later than September 2020 with a recommendation.

Though we are not currently accepting new traffic calming inquiries, we are still actively working to:

  • Eliminate sidewalk gaps or missing links that exist in our sidewalk network
  • Enable safe travel for students to and from school (Safe and Active Routes to School program)
  • Assess spot improvements for traffic safety

Citizens are still encouraged to identify locations of concern in their community for these items by contacting 311. Submitting a formal application with resident signatures is not required. To report a traffic safety concern, please complete the following online form, call 311 or 403-268-CITY (2489) if calling from outside Calgary.

Once City Council has made a decision on the outcomes of the Residential Speed Limits Review, the traffic study process outlined below is subject to change.

 

Applying for a community traffic study

Communities are encouraged to undertake activities listed in The City of Calgary's Traffic Calming Policy to raise awareness of traffic safety concerns in their community. These activities can include:

  • Articles in community newsletters and websites to raise awareness of the traffic concerns within the community.
  • Providing the community with information, such as City of Calgary Traffic Tips booklet, maps, and other documents.
  • Contacting The City of Calgary to arrange for placement of Speed Limit Observation and Warning System (SLOWS) signs (or other educational traffic signs) in identified locations in the community.
  • Liaising with police to help address issues through enforcement.
  • Liaising with schools to help address typical school-related traffic issues such as parking, drop-off zones, and pedestrian safety.
  • Liaising with businesses and institutions to help address traffic concerns related to facilities located within a community.
  • Reducing the number of car trips in the community by encouraging community residents to carpool, consider work at home and flex-time arrangements, and to use the pathway and bikeway system for walking and cycling trips.

Traffic study process

The traffic study process begins once a community or individual location is identified as the highest priority according to the evaluation process, described in more detail in the Traffic Calming Policy.

Stage 1: issues identification

(Typical duration: 2 to 6 months)

  • City initiates Community Traffic Study
  • Letter and questionnaire mailed to entire community to identify issues and request volunteers for Community Traffic Advisory Committee (CTAC)
  • Information session: gather and share information between The City and residents
  • City establishes Community Traffic Advisory Committee
  • Collect and analyze additional traffic and safety data
  • Establish study goals and objectives

Stage 2: traffic plan

(Typical duration: 2 to 5 months)

  • Identify potential solutions, engage CTAC and City
  • Letter and survey sent to entire community to introduce proposed plan and determine support from community
  • Information session: to present the proposed traffic calming plan to community
  • Modify proposed plan if required and as appropriate
  • Letter sent to community to inform of recommended plan details

Stage 3: implementation

(Typical duration: 12 months)

  • Recommended plan to Council for approval (if required)
  • Traffic measures are installed

FAQ

Does The City of Calgary have a policy regarding traffic calming?

Yes it does. The policy can be viewed here: Traffic Calming Policy. The current policy is under review in conjunction with the Residential Speed Limits review.

How do I request a community traffic study?

The City of Calgary is currently undertaking a review of residential speed limits, a key factor in how we assess, prioritize, and design traffic calming measures. The outcomes of the review are expected to address many of the concerns that community members regularly raise through the Community Traffic program and Traffic Study applications and may result in traffic calming measures being installed in many locations across the city. As such, we are currently not accepting any new Traffic Study applications until a decision has been made by Council on the Residential Speed Limit Review in Q4 2019.

Though we are not currently accepting new traffic calming inquiries, we are still actively working to:

  • Eliminate sidewalk gaps or missing links that exist in our sidewalk network
  • Enable safe travel for students to and from school (Safe and Active Routes to School program)
  • Assess spot improvements for traffic safety

Citizens are still encouraged to identify locations of concern in their community for these items by contacting 311. Submitting a formal application with resident signatures is not required. To report a traffic safety concern, please complete the following online form, call 311 or 403-268-CITY (2489) if calling from outside Calgary.​

What is the difference between speed bumps, speed humps, speed tables, and speed cushions?

They all refer to physical measures. These measures vary in shape and size depending on the requirements and function of a particular street for which they are recommended. The table below provides a summary of these measures. Further information is available in Section 4.1 of The Traffic Calming Policy.

Name of measure Where it is placed Purpose Size (approximate) Note/comment

Speed bump

Private parking lot​​s and roads

Slow vehicles below 20 km/h

NOT STANDARDIZED
21/2" high
12" wide

Private property use. Not used by City of Calgary

Speed hump

Local roads in reduced speed zones (i.e. playground or school zones)

Slow vehicles to 30 km/h & reduce high end speeds

80 mm (3") high

4.0 m (13') wide

Can be used on low volume collector to reduce speeds to 30 km/h

Speed table

Local roads, Low volume collector roads

Slow vehicles to 40-45 km/h & reduce high end speeds

80 mm (3") high

7.0 m (23') wide

Used in 50 km/h zones
Better for current EMS vehicles

Speed cushions

Low volume collector roads on bus routes

Slow vehicles to 30 km/h & reduce high end speeds
Minimize impact on buses & Fire trucks-50 km/h

80 mm (3") high
2.20 m X 1.90 m
(7' X 6') rectangles
Two or more cushions required

Better for fire trucks and full size buses

What is a curb extension?

Curb extensions are curbs that extend into the existing road to narrow it. The narrowed roadway results in a shortened crossing distance for pedestrians.

Who is paying for this work?

The City of Calgary funds community traffic calming measures from general tax revenues. The traffic calming plans will not increase property taxes in affected communities.

Who decides in which community the next study is undertaken?

A number of communities have requested studies and are on the Community Traffic Study Evaluation List, which is administered by Transportation Planning. While the Residential Speed Limits Review is underway, no new community traffic studies will be initiated. Community members who have already applied for a community traffic study will receive an update from The City in the coming weeks as to the status of their application.

Contact Community Transportation

To report a community traffic concern or to apply for a community traffic study, please complete the following online form:

eServices - Online form

Speeding concerns

To report a speeding concern or dangerous driving, please contact the Calgary Police Service by:

  • Calling the non-emergency line at 403-266-1234
  • Completing a Traffic Service Request
  • Contacting your district office (see map for details) and speaking with a Community Liaison Officer.

Community Transportation links and resources


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