The City of Colwood Official Community Plan presents a vision for our community that includes family-friendly neighbourhoods and realistic transportation choices. This may include traffic calming on local streets in residential neighbourhoods when it is supported by data and by the residents of the area. 

How does the City handle traffic calming requests?

The City is committed to involving residents in data driven decision-making about traffic calming measures. We encourage residents to review the Traffic Calming Policy when considering traffic safety issues. 

Traffic calming initiatives include a number of stages and can take up to a year to complete once initiated. Please note that the City receives many requests each year (7 requests in 2018) and must prioritize, plan and schedule them consecutively.

1. Project initiation:

  • Request received by Engineering
  • Screening for eligibility (route type, route characteristics, impact on surrounding routes, etc.)
  • Preliminary neighbourhood traffic assessment
  • Scheduling based on in-process initiatives

2. Data Collection - If the above supports proceeding, the following steps may be taken:

  • Traffic data collection using temporary speed reader boards
  • Data analysis 
  • Plan development
  • Survey to assess local support

3. Implementation - If data and local support criteria are met, the following steps may be taken:

  • Detailed design
  • Installation
  • Performance monitoring

How do speed reader boards collect traffic data?

The City installs temporary speed reader boards to collect traffic data. This data is used to assess the need for traffic calming initiatives. The reader boards record speeds and count vehicles traveling in BOTH DIRECTIONS.

The reader boards are purposely configured NOT to display the vehicle speed so that drivers do not change their normal behaviour in response to the sign. This allows the City to collect the most accurate data about vehicle speeds in your neighbourhood.

What methods work best for traffic calming?

Traffic calming is commonly achieved by implementing a combination of the three E’s: Education, Engineering and Enforcement. Partners like West Shore RCMP and ICBC play an important role in education and enforcement.

Speed humps are often requested, but are not always the solution to calm traffic down. Often it is residents of a street who speed on their way in or out. In this case, we encourage residents to educate their own neighbours about safety. 

The engineering devices adopted by the city are in accordance with the "Canadian Guide to Neighbourhood Traffic Calming", published by the Transportation Association of Canada (www.tac-atc.ca). 

For more information, contact the Colwood Engineering Department at 250-478-5999.