The City of Guelph is set to implement the final phase of traffic calming measures on Downey Road between Woodland Glen and Teal drive.
Traffic calming measures include the installation of four-speed cushions to reduce car speeds. The cushions include wheel cut-outs to allow large vehicles like fire trucks to drive through without having to slow down.
“The city is adding these traffic measures to Downey Road to keep our commitment to the community to reduce vehicle speeds along this stretch of road now that the Niska Road bridge is open and we’ve completed all relevant traffic studies,” said Steve Anderson, manager of the city’s transportation engineering in a press release.
“These final traffic calming measures will make Downey Road safer for all road users. They also support community priorities as reflected in the City’s strategic plan by improving the safety, efficiency and connectivity of Guelph’s transportation system.”
City council first directed staff to complete a design of Downey Road — with traffic calming measures and bike lanes — in 2014. The recommendations were presented to council in September 2016 and the first phase of Downey Road Transportation improvements was completed in 2017 which included the installation of pavement markings, curb extensions and three centre islands with the addition of green painted cycle lanes in 2019.
When phase 1 measures were not effective in reducing speeds along Downey road despite vehicle speeds averaging above 60 kilometres per hour, council deferred implementing phase 2 traffic calming measures until traffic studies following the reopening of the Niska Road bridge in August 2019 were completed.
Temporary traffic signals are planned for the intersections of Woodland Glen Drive and Niska Road along Downey Road later this year. The city also plans on conducting further studies this year to determine the permanent solutions for those two intersections based on the design of the Hanlon Expressway/Kortright Road/Downey Road interchange work being led by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation.
According to the city’s Transportation Engineering Program 2021 report, there are currently 22 streets that qualify for traffic calming. City staff will prioritize traffic calming designs based on prioritization scores.
The report also states that city staff will try to identify temporary traffic calming locations which are necessary as a result of road closures and construction.
“For example, there will be seasonal temporary traffic calming measures installed on local roadways that are near arterial road closures that will likely see an increase in traffic as a result of the road closure,” reads the report.
According to the Transportation Engineering Program 2021 report, city staff will prioritize traffic calming designs on the following streets in 2021:
- Niska Road between Downey Road and City limits
- Starwood Drive between Eastview Road and Watson Parkway North
-Riverview Drive between Speedvale Avenue East and Waverley Drive
- Waverley Drive between Riverview Drive and Balmoral Drive
- Ptarmigan Drive between Niska Road and Downey Road