Speeding and Traffic Calming

What is traffic calming?

Traffic calming is a measure available to the town that can be used to mitigate speeding in instances where higher speeds have been observed and conventional methods of speed deterrence, such as enforcement and education, have not been effective. Some examples of include line markings, radar speed display signs, speed cushions and roundabouts.

How does a roadway qualify for traffic calming?

To initiate a traffic calming process a candidate location must first satisfy Warrant 1 – 85th Percentile Speed. Warrant 1 is obtained following a 48-hour speed survey conducted either in the spring and/or fall.

Warrant 1 requires 15 per cent of motorists to be driving at a speed greater than:

  • 10 km/h over for a posted speed of 40 km/h
  • 11 km/h over for a posted speed of 50 km/h
  • 12 km/h over for a posted speed of 60 km/h

If Warrant 1 is met, locations will first receive a Radar Speed Display Sign (RSDS) unit. If speeds remain above the threshold after the RSDS is removed, the location then qualifies for line markings. If line markings are already present, the town will directly proceed to implement physical traffic calming measures.

Existing traffic calming projects

The town has over ten years experience with traffic calming. Traffic calming measures are categorized as physical or passive.

The town’s existing passive traffic calming treatments consist primarily of line markings. They are intended to visually reduce the lane width and (in most circumstances) re-allocate some of road space to cyclists and to on-street parking. Passive traffic calming locations are indicated on Passive Traffic Calming Locations Map (pdf). In May 2016, Council approved adding Radar Speed Display Signs (RSDS) to the passive traffic calming measures. Oakville currently has 12 RSDS units across town.

Physical traffic calming treatments are more intrusive in nature and include modifying roadways with horizontal and vertical deflections that cause vehicles to slow down. The town’s existing physical traffic calming measures include concrete speed cushions (on narrow roads) and raised barrier medians (on wider roads). To date, these treatments have been applied to all elementary school zones in Oakville and they are indicated on Physical Traffic Calming Locations Map (pdf). In May 2016, Council approved expanding physical traffic calming measures beyond school zones and onto other local and collector roadways.

Detailed information about the traffic calming process can be found in Appendix E

2017 physical traffic calming projects

There are currently three roadways that qualify for physical traffic calming in 2017.

  1. Pinegrove Road – Fourth Line to Warwick Avenue
  2. Ridge Drive – Sixth Line to Kent Avenue
  3. Great Lakes Boulevard – Lakeshore Road West to Buena Vista Court

As part of the process, affected stakeholders will be asked if they support the implementation of traffic measures on the roadway.

The town moves forward only after more than 50 per cent of affected stakeholders are in favour of the implementation. If it is determined that the affected stakeholders are not in support of a traffic calming review, then the process is terminated and the affected stakeholders are notified in writing.

The duration of a traffic calming study will be dependent on the type of proposed traffic calming measure, number of projects and available traffic calming budget for a given year.

Passive traffic calming examples

Radar speed display signs

  • Displays speed of vehicle to its driver via an electronic display.
  • Provides driver with feedback regarding vehicle operating speed.
  • Can be permanently or temporarily installed.


Other passive calming techniques

  • Pavement markings on roadway used to define space for vehicles (edge lines, cycle lanes)
  • Clearly indicate driving space.
  • Narrow the driving lanes to encourage drivers to slow down.

Physical traffic calming examples

Raised crosswalk

  • A marked pedestrian crosswalk at an intersection or mid-block location constructed at a higher elevation than the adjacent roadway.
  • Delineates the pedestrian and automobile space.

Curb extension

  • Widening of curb into roadway, typically at intersections to reduce vehicle speeds.
  • Slows vehicles making turns and reduces crossing distance for pedestrians.
  • Provides opportunity for visual/landscape enhancement.


  • A roundabout is a circular intersection where drivers travel counter-clockwise around a centre island.
  • Aesthetically pleasing, while enhancing safety.
  • Already implemented in several locations in Oakville.

Raised centre median

  • An elevated median constructed in the centre of the roadway.
  • Helps slow traffic without reducing capacity, while providing visual aesthetic.
  • Reduction in pedestrian-vehicle conflict.

Concrete speed cushion

  • The Town of Oakville has implemented this measure in most school zones in the town.
  • Features a centre 'knock-down' post allowing emergency vehicles to pass.
  • Slows passenger vehicles via a small speed hump on roadway.
  • Designed to accommodate wide wheel base of emergency vehicles (easy passage).
  • Use on local & collector roads.


  • Two or more alternating curb extensions that narrow a two-lane road to a one-lane road for a short distance.
  • Requires drivers to slow down and drive around them in a serpentine pattern.
  • Used on local and minor roadways not designated for transit or emergency vehicles.

More information

Detailed information about Traffic Calming Process Update and Speed Limit Review can be found on the April 25, 2016, Community Services Committee agenda.


If you have any questions regarding the traffic calming program, or wish to initiate a request please contact:

Dragana Crkvenjas
Traffic Technologist Town of Oakville
Engineering and Construction Department
Oakville, ON L6H 0H3
Tel: 905-845-6601, ext. 3397
Fax: 905-338-4159