TTC Policy On Traffic Calming And Speed Humps
Meeting Date: March 21, 2001
Subject: TTC Policy On Traffic Calming And Speed Humps
It is recommended that the Commission:
1. Endorse TTC staff’s input to the City of Toronto’s upcoming harmonized policy on traffic calming, specifically that:
• speed humps shall not be installed on streets that have transit service;
• speed cushions shall not be installed on streets that have transit service because there is, to date, no design for speed cushions that will calm traffic while still accommodating all types of TTC buses;
• the introduction of new transit routings on roads that already have speed humps or speed cushions would be conditional upon the removal of these devices; and
• proposed traffic calming schemes that would affect transit routes shall be reviewed by TTC staff prior to being carried forward to Community Council; and
1. Forward this report to the City of Toronto Transportation Services.
This report has no impact on the TTC’s Capital or Operating Budgets.
At its meeting on September 22, 1999, the Commission considered a staff report entitled, Speed Humps and Traffic Calming Devices (copy attached). The Commission, in approving and amending this report, confirmed its opposition to speed humps on transit routes, including making the introduction of new transit routings conditional upon the removal of existing speed humps, and that any traffic calming proposal which affects transit routes should be approved by TTC staff before being considered by City Council. The Commission also asked staff to consult and report back on a suitable design for speed cushions, as an alternative to speed humps. The Commission further directed staff to encourage further consultation with the City of Toronto in the development of traffic calming policy.
At its meeting on January 25, 2001, the Commission adopted the report, TTC Staff Position on Bus Bays. As part of the discussion of that report, the Commission requested that TTC staff prepare a policy statement on traffic calming and speed humps on transit routes. This report responds to both the September, 1999 request and to this most-recent request.
Following the September, 1999 Commission meeting, work by City staff on a harmonized traffic calming policy was deferred until October 2000. At that time, City staff reactivated the project and, since then, TTC staff have been working with the City in the development of a new City-wide traffic calming policy.
The new policy, which is expected to be before the City Works Committee this Spring, will specify, among other things, that speed humps shall not be installed on streets where transit services operate. The evaluation process for individual traffic calming schemes will formalize the requirement for TTC staff input, and will ensure that all schemes affecting transit routes will be reviewed by TTC staff before being carried forward to Community Council. The inclusion of both of these elements in the City’s harmonized policy should adequately protect the TTC’s interests.
In its September, 1999 directive, the Commission also requested staff to participate in the development of a suitable design for speed cushions. Speed cushions are similar to speed humps, except that they do not extend all the way across the roadway to the curbs. The theory is that vehicles with wider tire gauges, such as buses or fire trucks, could drive unimpeded across the non-raised section, while smaller vehicles with narrower gauges, such as cars, would have to drive across the raised part and would, thus, be encouraged to slow down. However, further investigation by TTC and City staff has confirmed that, in order to accommodate the tire gauges of all of the different types of TTC buses, the speed cushions would have to be narrow enough that most other vehicles, including pickup trucks and mini-vans, would be able to cross them without going over the raised section. This would significantly reduce the effectiveness of the speed cushions as a speed control measure. As a result, City staff have decided not to pursue the use of speed cushions on transit routes as an alternative to speed humps.
While TTC staff are satisfied that the City’s soon-to-be-completed harmonized traffic calming policy will incorporate the TTC’s position on traffic calming, should this policy be changed, prior to City Council approval, in any way that would weaken the TTC’s position, then TTC staff will immediately report back to the Commission with recommended action. Similarly, staff will report to the Commission should there arise, in the future, any instance where the City’s new policy fails to adequately protect the TTC’s interests.
March 15, 2001
Attachment: Commission report, Speed Humps and Traffic Calming Devices, dated September 22, 1999 (without attachments)
Filename: S:\svrplan\mag\traffic calming.cr