Traffic Calming Guide

Project Summary


In Production

Research Area

Traffic management

Responsible Council / Committee

Chief Engineers' Council / Traffic Operations and Management Standing Committee

Related TAC publications

Canadian Guide to Neighbourhood Traffic Calming (1998)

Project Funding Partners

Alberta Transportation; City of London; City of Kelowna; Halifax Regional Municipality; British Columbia Department of Transportation and Infrastructure; Nova Scotia Transportation and Infrastructure; Prince Edward Island Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy; Ministère des Transports, de la Mobilité durable et de l’Électrification des transports du Québec; CITE; City of Ottawa; City of Saskatoon; City of Burlington; City of Montreal; City of Edmonton

Research Agency


Project Category

Traffic Operations & Management

Staff Contact


In 1998, TAC and the Canadian Institute of Transportation Engineers (CITE) jointly published the Canadian Guide to Neighbourhood Traffic Calming. The Guide has been used throughout North America and has been considered a success in the field, however the art of traffic calming has evolved and the Guide needs to be updated.

The CITE has completed a volunteer project that included consultations and workshops with Guide users and other stakeholders.  As a result, key issues that require review and to be addressed in the next edition of the Guide have been identified as follows:

  • Defining what traffic calming is as well as what is not considered as traffic calming
  • Traffic calming planning and speed management
  • Process:
    • Screening criteria - assess merits of traffic calming request
    • Warrant analysis - when and where to implement; include criteria such as required public support, road classification, speed and volume thresholds, environment (urban and rural), geometry (curves, slopes, etc.)
    • Prioritization of request - criteria to prioritize/rank traffic calming requests
    • Public process
    • Level of effort required to analyze/assess/consult (e.g. should it be the same for speed humps vs. a full road closure?)
    • Evaluation/monitoring of implemented devices
    • Removal of devices - criteria and process
    • Distinction between rural and urban methodologies
  • Planning:
    • Reactive vs. proactive approaches (traffic calming in new developments)
    • How to select the best device or traffic calming feature
    • Integrating active transportation (e. g. cycling lanes, transit)
    • Integrating facilities for disabled individuals
    • Impact on services (emergency vehicles, garbage collection, transit, etc.)
    • Role in complete streets
    • Low speed (e.g. 30km/hr and 40 km/hr) street design
    • Temporary traffic calming measures to mitigage traffic during construction
  • Devices and other traffic calming measures:
    • Non-physical (e.g. electronic devices, psycho-perception devices, etc.)
    • Physical - vertical deflection (e.g. speed cushions, tables, humps, etc.)
    • Physical – horizontal deflection (e.g. traffic circles, etc.)
    • Gateway features (e.g. signage, landscaping, geometric design features)
    • Temporary or seasonal installations
    • Additional technical elements (arterials, gateways, other traffic calming devices, electronic devices, geometrics, etc.)
    • Advantages and disadvantages of the different traffic calming measures
  • Design:
    • Geometric standards for devices, according to the road classification, environment (urban and rural), and speed
    • Vehicle accommodations (i.e. garbage, fire, bus, snow plow maneuvering)
    • Multi-modal design (i.e. incorporating active transportation and transit)
    • Type of materials used to install the measures (asphalt, concrete, rubber, etc.)
    • Accessibility
    • Quantitative and qualitative impact on speeds and road safety for all users, and quality of life (noise, enhancement to neighbourhood environment, etc.)
    • Signage
    • Cost analysis
    • Considerations of maintenance during the design phase
  • Maintenance of traffic calming applications (all season but winter in particular)

While the focus of the current guide is on neighbourhood trafic calming as well as operational applications (retrofit applications), the updated guide is expected to provide guidance for traffic calming of all types of roadways in the planning stage as well as for roads already in service.

The major deliverable of this project will be an updated traffic calming guide for Canadian agencies, suitable for publication by the Transportation Association of Canada and the Canadian Institute of Transportation Engineers.