Traffic Calming Studies for Dunvegan Drive, Margaret Avenue and Woolwich Street

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The City of Waterloo is doing traffic calming studies for three neighbourhoods: Dunvegan Drive between Lexington Road and Sandowne Drive, Margaret Avenue between Lincoln Road and Bridgeport Road East and Woolwich Street between University Avenue East and Bridle Trail. Traffic calming is a series of measures a city can implement to ease traffic concerns. This can be done through physical changes, like signs and road markings, and by encouraging behaviour change through education and enforcement.

Requests from residents for traffic calming on the three identified streets were made under the Traffic Calming Policy that was adopted by Council as part

The City of Waterloo is doing traffic calming studies for three neighbourhoods: Dunvegan Drive between Lexington Road and Sandowne Drive, Margaret Avenue between Lincoln Road and Bridgeport Road East and Woolwich Street between University Avenue East and Bridle Trail. Traffic calming is a series of measures a city can implement to ease traffic concerns. This can be done through physical changes, like signs and road markings, and by encouraging behaviour change through education and enforcement.

Requests from residents for traffic calming on the three identified streets were made under the Traffic Calming Policy that was adopted by Council as part of the Transportation Master Plan in April 2011. Under the policy, once a request has been made, staff complete a two-part screening investigation to determine if a study is warranted. As a result of the screening, Dunvegan Drive between Lexington Road and Sandowne Drive, Margaret Avenue between Lincoln Road and Bridgeport Road East and Woolwich Street between University Avenue East and Bridle Trail all meet the warrant criteria to move forward to a traffic calming study.

Project Process

The consulting team assessed current conditions in each neighbourhood and prepared a draft traffic calming plan with measures to address neighbourhood traffic issues. The final traffic calming plans will also be informed by conversations and input from residents. The project outcome will be a Traffic Calming Study Report, recommending traffic calming plans specific to each neighbourhood.

Get Involved

Public input is essential to the success of the project. We are seeking input to understand current road conditions on your neighbourhood streets and what traffic calming measures make sense for your neighbourhood. Public engagement over the course of the project will include a public survey and online public information centre.

Prior to releasing the proposed traffic calming plans to the public, the plans were circulated to City stakeholders (Waterloo Fire Rescue, Regional EMS, Waterloo Regional Police Services, Grand River Transit, etc.). These groups were able to review and comment on the plans, and their feedback was incorporated into the proposed plans.


  • Dunvegan Drive

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    25 Mar 2021
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    The Margaret Avenue and Woolwich Street studies have their own information sections. The information for all three studies, including an explanation of traffic calming, can also be viewed in a single PDF in our Document Library.

    The Dunvegan Drive study area falls within the neighbourhood bounded by Lexington Road to the north, Highway 85 (Conestoga Parkway) to the west, University Avenue East to the south and Bridge Street West to the east. The study focuses on Dunvegan Drive between Lexington Road and Sandowne Drive. However, given the interconnectivity of the road network, the study includes Sandowne Drive between Dunvegan Drive and Bridge Street East. The City will continue to monitor Braemore Avenue may consider traffic calming on the street as a second phase to the neighbourhood-wide traffic calming plan.

    Table 1 summarizes the characteristics of Dunvegan Drive Study Area based on the City’s warrant analysis for traffic calming. During 2020, the speed and volume of traffic on Dunvegan Drive was notably lower than in 2019. This may be attributed to the COVID-19 Pandemic and stay-at-home orders. On Sandowne Drive, the 85th percentile speed decreased by 5 km/h; however, the volume of traffic almost doubled.

    TABLE 1: Dunvegan Drive Study Area Highlights

    Criteria

    Measurement

    Dunvegan Drive

    Sandowne Drive

    Phase 1

    Operating Speed (85th percentile)

    Recorded > 10 km/h over posted

    Posted speed 50 km/h
    2019 ~ 63 km/h

    2020 ~ 58 km/h

    Posted speed 40 km/h

    2019 ~60 km/h

    2020 ~ 55 km/h

    Motorized Traffic Volumes

    Collector Street > 2,000 vehicles per day (vpd)

    2019 ~ 2004 vpd

    2020 ~ 1694 vpd

    2019 ~2339 vpd

    2020 ~ 4234 vpd

    Phase 2

    Cycling/Pedestrian Traffic Volumes

    Counted or Observed

    Dunvegan Drive and Sandowne Drive west – 250 pedestrian crossings

    Dunvegan Drive and Sandowne Drive east – 81 pedestrian crossings

    Collision History

    Recorded

    15 collisions (2015-2018), speeding noted on four reports

    1 collision (2015-2018)

    Emergency Response Use

    Input

    Main route to access neighbourhood

    Transit Use

    Input

    GRT Route 29

    N/A

    Road Grade (max 8%)

    Calculated

    N/A

    Proximity to Schools and School Crosswalks

    Observed

    Lexington Park, Dunvegan Park, Sandowne Public School


    The following observations were noted during a site visit on Friday, January 15, 2021:

    • Road cross-section is 9.0 metres;
    • No stopping signs posted near Dunvegan Drive and Sandowne Drive west intersection;
    • School crossing across west leg of Dunvegan Drive at Sandowne Drive west intersection;
    • School crossing across north leg of Sandowne Drive and Boxbury Drive north intersection;
    • Bus stop on Dunvegan Drive west of Bairstow Crescent at Lexington Park access;
    • Sidewalks on both sides of Dunvegan Drive and Sandowne Drive, pedestrian crossings at intersections are marked;
    • Spacing between driveways fronting Dunvegan Drive and Sandowne Drive is minimal (typically less than 6.0 metres) and driveways are off-set in areas;
    • Large mature trees throughout the neighbourhood; and
    • Minimal on-street parking observed.

    Considerations for Traffic Calming

    Based on the collected data and discussions with the City, speeding and traffic volumes (specifically cut-through traffic) are the main concerns in the study area. Potential traffic calming measures selected for the study area should reduce both traffic speeds and the volume of vehicles short-cutting through the neighbourhood. Any potential measures will need to fit within the existing neighbourhood context – the close spacing of driveways may impact the feasibility of certain measures. Additionally, specific traffic calming measures could help improve access to community locations such as schools and parks in the neighbourhood.

    Vertical deflection measures are anticipated to have the greatest benefit in terms of speed and volume reductions. The vertical deflections category includes measures such as speed humps, speed tables and raised intersections. This category of measures was selected as the basis for the Dunvegan Drive Study Area traffic calming plan. Measures were spaced based on the guidance detailed in the Transportation Association of Canada (TAC) Traffic Calming Guide to achieve an 85th percentile speed of 40 km/h.

    Proposed Traffic Calming Plan

    The Dunvegan Drive and Sandowne Drive plan drawing shows the study area being examined. The traffic calming plan created features the following measures (the numbering corresponds to the numbered boxes shown on the plan):

    1. Install speed humps on Dunvegan Drive (8) and Sandowne Drive (6).
    2. Construct a raised intersection at the west Dunvegan Drive and Sandowne Drive intersection.
    3. Construct a speed table on Sandowne Drive across the north leg of the intersection with Boxbury Drive north.
    4. Construct a speed table on Sandowne Drive at the Sandowne Park Entrance located east of the Boxbury Drive south intersection.
    5. Install area-wide 40 km/h gateway speed limit signage on the entrances to the neighbourhood; Lexington Road at Dunvegan Drive and Lee Avenue, Bridge Street East at Dansbury Drive and Sandowne Drive and University Avenue East at Braemore Avenue. *Installation of this measure is subject to the City’s ongoing Neighborhood 40 km/h Pilot and Council approval. This measure may not be implemented at the same time as the rest of the proposed traffic calming plan.

    The draft Dunvegan Drive plan is also available as a PDF

    Please take a few moments to complete our survey.

  • Margaret Avenue

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    25 Mar 2021
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    The Dunvegan Drive and Woolwich Street studies have their own information sections. The information for all three studies, including an explanation of traffic calming, can also be viewed in a single PDF in our Document Library. The maps for the draft plans are not accessible, if you would like this information in an alternate format, please contact the Project Team.

    The Margaret Avenue study area falls within the neighbourhood bounded by Lincoln Road to the north, Ellis Crescent to the west, Bridgeport Road East to the south and Highway 85 (Conestoga Parkway) to the east. The study focuses on Margaret Avenue between Lincoln Road and Bridgeport Road East. However, given the available parallel route, the study also includes Ellis Crescent. Mayfield Avenue, Bluevale Street North and Harvard Road will continue to be monitored and may be considered as part of a second phase of the neighbourhood traffic calming plan.

    Table 3 summarizes the characteristics of Margaret Avenue Study Area based on the City’s warrant analysis for traffic calming.

    TABLE 3: Margaret Avenue Study Area Highlights

    Criteria

    Measurement

    Margaret Avenue

    Ellis Crescent

    Phase 1

    Operating Speed (85th percentile)

    Recorded > 10 km/h over posted

    Posted speed 50 km/h
    2019 ~ 63 km/h

    Posted speed 50 km/h

    2021 ~ 50 km/h

    Motorized Traffic Volumes

    Collector Street > 2,000 vpd

    2019 ~ 2651 vpd

    2021 ~ 2875 vpd

    Phase 2

    Cycling/Pedestrian Traffic Volumes

    Counted or Observed

    Margaret Avenue and Lincoln Road – 40 pedestrian crossings

    Ellis Crescent and Lincoln Road – 183 pedestrian crossings

    Collision History

    Recorded

    12 collisions (2015-2018), speeding noted on two reports

    2 collisions (2015-2018)

    Emergency Response Use

    Input

    Main route to access neighbourhood

    Transit Use

    Input

    N/A

    Road Grade (max 8%)

    Calculated

    Vermont Street to Murdock Avenue – 5%

    Washington Avenue to Lincoln Road – 5%

    Lincoln Road to Murdock Avenue – 5%

    Proximity to Schools and School Crosswalks

    Observed

    St. Agnes Catholic Elementary School, Vermont Park, Roselea Park, Elementary School L'harmonie


    The following observations were noted during a site visit on Friday, January 15, 2021:

    • Road cross-section is 9.0 metres;
    • Sidewalks on both sides of Margaret Avenue. Sidewalk on the west side terminates to the north at Washington Avenue. Sidewalk width is narrow (less than 1.5 metres).
    • Some pedestrian crossings at intersections are marked;
    • Grade on Margaret Avenue slopes down towards Bridgeport Road West between Vermont Street and Murdock Avenue;
    • Grade on Ellis Crescent slopes down towards Neilson Avenue;
    • Large mature trees throughout neighbourhood;
    • Hydro poles on west side of Margaret Avenue; and
    • No on-street parking observed.

    Considerations for Traffic Calming

    Based on the collected data and discussions with the City, both traffic volumes and speeding are a concern in the study area. Potential traffic calming measures selected for the study area should reduce both traffic volumes and speeds. Margaret Avenue has segments with significant grades (Vermont Street to Murdock Avenue, Washington Avenue to Lincoln Road) which will limit the applicability of certain traffic calming measures. Additionally, the City’s Draft Transportation Master Plan 2020 Update identifies Margaret Avenue as a future physically separated bikeway. Cycling facilities on Margaret Avenue should be included as part of the traffic calming plan.

    Both vertical deflection and horizontal deflection measures are anticipated to have benefit in terms of speed and volume reductions. Given the TMP recommendation, on-road exclusive bike lanes were selected as a traffic calming measure for Margaret Avenue. The existing pavement width on Margaret Avenue is 9.0 m; therefore, the new cross-section will consist of 1.5 m bike lanes and 3.0 m travel lanes. Physically separated bike lanes would require reconstruction of the pavement on Margaret Avenue and would need to be considered as a future project. The traffic calming plan can be further supplemented with vertical deflection measures to help reduce speeds and traffic volumes.

    Since Ellis Crescent is an alternate parallel route to Margaret Avenue, traffic calming measures were considered. The traffic data indicates speeding is not a substantial issue on Ellis Crescent. Therefore, pavement markings and enhancing safety near the school crossing at Neilson Avenue were the focus of the traffic calming plan on Ellis Crescent.

    Proposed Traffic Calming Plan

    The Margaret Avenue and Ellis Crescent plan drawing shows the study area being examined. The traffic calming plan created features the following measures (the numbering corresponds to the numbered boxes shown on the plan):

    1. Install centre line pavement markings on Margaret Avenue and Ellis Crescent.
    2. Install edge line pavement markings on Margaret Avenue to create 1.5 m bike lanes.
    3. Install speed humps on Margaret Avenue (5).
    4. Construct a speed table on Ellis Crescent across the south leg of the intersection with Neilson Avenue (upgrade to existing school crossing).
    5. Install area-wide 40 km/h gateway speed limit signage on the entrances to the neighbourhood; Lincoln Road at Ellis Crescent, Margaret Avenue, Mayfield Avenue, Bluevale Street North and Bridgeport Road East at Ellis Crescent, Margaret Avenue and Bluevale Street North. *Installation of this measure is subject to the City’s ongoing Neighborhood 40 km/h Pilot and Council approval. This measure may not be implemented at the same time as the rest of the proposed traffic calming plan.

    The draft Margaret Avenue plan is also available as a PDF

    Please take a few moments to complete our survey.

  • Woolwich Street

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    25 Mar 2021
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    The Dunvegan Drive and Margaret Avenue studies have their own information sections. The information for all three studies, including an explanation of traffic calming, can also be viewed in a single PDF in our Document Library. The maps for the draft plans are not accessible, if you would like this information in an alternate format, please contact the Project Team.

    The Woolwich Street study area falls within the neighbourhood bounded by University Avenue and Bridle Trail to the west, the Grand River to the north, east and south. The study focuses on Woolwich Street between University Avenue East and Bridle Trail.

    Table 4 summarizes the characteristics of Woolwich Street based on the City’s warrant analysis for traffic calming.

    TABLE 4: Woolwich Street Study Area Highlights

    Criteria

    Measurement

    Results

    Phase 1

    Operating Speed (85th percentile)

    Recorded > 10 km/h over posted

    Posted speed 50 km/h
    2019 ~ 68 km/h

    Motorized Traffic Volumes

    Collector Street > 2,000 vpd

    2019 ~ 3222 vpd

    Phase 2

    Cycling/Pedestrian Traffic Volumes

    Counted or Observed

    Woolwich Street and University Avenue – 8 pedestrian crossings

    Woolwich Street and Bridle Trail – 3 pedestrian crossings

    Collision History

    Recorded

    11 collisions (2015-2018), speeding noted on two reports

    Emergency Response Use

    Input

    Main route to access neighbourhood

    Transit Use

    Input

    N/A

    Road Grade (max 8%)

    Calculated

    N/A

    Proximity to Schools and School Crosswalks

    Observed

    Kiwanis Park, designated on-road bike lanes, multi-use path


    The following observations were noted during a site visit on Friday, January 15, 2021:

    • Road cross-section is 9.0 metres and includes on-street exclusive bike lanes;
    • Bike lanes were covered in snow;
    • Multi-use path provided along one side and sidewalk on the other. Pedestrian crossings at intersections are marked but require refreshing;
    • On-street parking is prohibited. No illegal on-street parking was observed;
    • Roundabout at Woolwich Street, Kiwanis Park Drive and Falconridge Drive intersection;
    • Mini-roundabout at Woolwich Street and Carriage Way/Falconridge Drive intersection;
    • Observed a driver on Woolwich Street failing to yield right of way to side street traffic at the Woolwich Street and Carriage Way/Falconridge Drive intersection
    • Pedestrians observed crossing Woolwich Street at Carriage Way/Falconridge Drive; and
    • Wismer Street does not connect through to University Avenue

    Considerations for Traffic Calming

    Based on the collected data and discussions with the City, speeding is the main concern in the study area. Woolwich Street is the main road into the neighbourhood and is perceived as a by-pass for Bridge Street East and University Avenue East. The City recently reconstructed Woolwich Street between University Avenue East and Kiwanis Park Drive with traffic calming in mind, including narrower lanes, on-road exclusive bike lanes, mini-roundabouts and knock-down signs. Potential traffic calming measures selected for the study area should reduce vehicle speeds and complement the existing measures.

    Vertical deflection measures are anticipated to have the greatest benefit in terms of speed reductions. This category of measures was selected as the basis for the Woolwich Street Study Area traffic calming plan. Measures were spaced based on the guidance detailed in the Transportation Association of Canada (TAC) Traffic Calming Guide to achieve an 85th percentile speed of 50 km/h.

    Additionally, the existing traffic calming measures and proposed vertical deflection measures can be supplemented through the use of knock-down signs in the most developed areas of the Woolwich Street corridor. The signs remind drivers to slow down and be aware of their surroundings.

    Proposed Traffic Calming Plan

    The Woolwich Street plan drawing shows the study area being examined. The traffic calming plan created features the following measures (the numbering corresponds to the numbered boxes shown on the plan):

    1. Install speed humps on Woolwich Street (10).
    2. Install knock-down signs on Woolwich Street during the spring, summer and fall seasons. The City has already implemented a set between Wismer Street and Cedarcliffe Drive. Additional sets should be placed between Hawkswood Drive and south of Carriage Way, and south of Sunbridge Crescent and north of Bridle Trail.

    The draft Woolwich Street plan is also available in PDF

    Map showing Woolwich Street from University Avenue to Bridle Trail, indicating plans for 10 speed humps and 6 knock-down signs spaced along the route as traffic calming measures.Legend for indication on the Woolwich Street map. For alternate formats of this information, please contact the project team.

    Please take a few moments to complete our survey.

  • What is traffic calming?

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    25 Mar 2021

    The City of Waterloo’s Traffic Calming Policy establishes the purpose of traffic calming:

    "To restore streets to their intended function by reducing vehicular speeds, discouraging through traffic and minimizing conflicts between street users."

    The advantages of traffic calming can include:

    • Reduced motor vehicle speeds
    • Reduced traffic volumes
    • Discouraging short-cutting
    • Improved neighbourhood livability
    • Reduced conflicts between roadway users

    The disadvantages of traffic calming can include:

    • Increased emergency vehicle response and transit vehicle operating times
    • Reduced ingress and egress from neighbourhoods
    • Shifting or diverting traffic volumes or speeding concerns onto other roadways
    • Increased maintenance costs, including snow clearing and curbside waste collection
    • Increased vehicle emissions

    The process to consider traffic calming begins with the City receiving a request in writing. When a request for traffic calming is made, City staff undertake a two-part screening investigation using the warrant criteria described below. Locations that meet the warrant criteria move forward to a traffic calming study.

    Criteria

    Measurement

    Phase 1

    Operating Speed (85th percentile)

    Recorded > 10 km/h over posted

    Motorized Traffic Volumes

    Local Street > 900 vehicles per day (vpd)

    Collector Street > 2,000 vpd

    Phase 2

    Cycling/Pedestrian Traffic Volumes

    Counted or Observed

    Collision History

    Recorded

    Emergency Response Use

    Input

    Transit Use

    Input

    Road Grade (max 8%)

    Calculated

    Proximity to Schools and School Crosswalks

    Observed


    The City has three categories of traffic calming measures:

    • Active Traffic Calming, Vertical Deflections: Measures cause a vertical upward movement of the vehicle. These measures tend to lower speeds because motorists slow to avoid unpleasant sensations. This category includes measures such as speed humps, speed cushions and raised crosswalks.
    • Active Traffic Calming, Horizontal Deflections: Measures cause a lateral shift in the travel pattern of the vehicle. These measures can discourage speeding and short-cutting traffic to varying extents. This category includes measures such as narrowed travel lanes, curb extensions and on-road exclusive bike lanes.
    • Passive Traffic Calming: Education and enforcement measures are intended to modify driver behaviour and may vary in scope from short- to long-duration programs. Pavement marking and surface treatment measures influence drivers to reduce speed by drawing attention to a specific area or information. This category includes measures such as radar speed signs and pavement warning markings.