Safer communities: Traffic calming measures in the Town of Innisfil

March 9, 2023

Across cities, emerging technologies and design measures are implemented to slow drivers down and increase safety in communities. Where these measures are absent, challenges exist to determine a singular or multi-tiered approach to achieve suitable results.

In the Town of Innisfil, the safety of residents and tourists worked to drive the development of a new traffic calming policy, complete with design guide and 10-year program plan for the municipality. The plan, launched in August 2021, incorporated pilot studies to assess existing measures, program policies, proven techniques, forward-thinking approaches and the role data plays in the implementation of new measures to meet a community’s needs.

“The uniqueness of this project was displayed in the Town of Innisfil’s willingness to adapt and use of multiple evaluation and location selection techniques to achieve maximum safety,” said EXP’s Traffic Engineering Manager Greg Kent.

He continued, “Potential assessment and warrant options considered innovation and longevity, and we were able to determine approaches that combined elevated data utilization for site selection and applicable physical calming measures to reduce overall speed. We also ensured the opportunity for future innovation.”

EXP executed a three-location pilot study to test the efficacy of various traffic calming measures. “Our team needed to identify the traffic control measures most suitable for the town, considering both the town’s acceptance of various methods and transportation goals for future applications,” said Greg.

At three locations, the traffic calming measures varied from a raised pedestrian crosswalk, lane narrowing, speed cushions, road markings, chicanes with barrier curbs and on-road signage and delineators. Data was used to set the framework – creating an environment where probability could be measured and recurrence and reduction in speed and potential collisions assessed to develop the best course of action. The pilot project’s results determined vertical and horizontal measures in a multi-tiered approach were most effective in reducing speeds and a serve as proactive measure for long-term success.

The implementation of traffic calming measures has a significant impact on communities. Design decisions associated with mobility can affect safety, aesthetics, noise, agriculture, connectivity, fuel consumption and equity across all modes of transportation. Feedback from community members was critical to the project’s success. The Town of Innisfil, with the community’s support, aim to have the new policy and program approved in spring 2023. Their vision is to improve roadway safety and incorporate the program’s fundamental calming concepts into the Towns innovative Orbit development with the new Go station and associated Hwy 400-6th Line Interchange.

To learn more about the pilot study and the Town of Innisfil’s new traffic calming program, contact Greg Kent.

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