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Traffic Calming Devices

Your neighbourhood can request traffic calming devices to reduce traffic speeds on your local road.

If a traffic calming project's right for your area, we'll use 1 (or more) of 5 different structures, called traffic devices, to slow traffic speeds.

  1. Speed hump
  2. Speed table
  3. Raised crossing
  4. Raised intersection
  5. Traffic circle

These traffic devices decrease the number of drivers driving faster than the speed limit. But, traffic calming devices may also cause drivers to use nearby residential streets, to avoid them. They also slow down emergency vehicles like fire trucks and ambulances.

Speed humps

Speed humps are the most common traffic calming device.

Speed humps look like speed bumps. But, speed humps are wider than speed bumps, and you don't need to slow down so much to drive over them. Also, speed humps slow drivers down on local roads, while speed bumps slow down drivers in parking lots.

Size: 80 millimetres (3 inches) high and 4 metres (13 feet) long. 

Typical Spacing:

  • 125 to 225 metres apart on local roads, and
  • 60 to 100 metres apart on lanes.

Cost: $2,000 to $3,000 each.

Advantages: Speed humps are cheaper than other traffic calming devices. So, it's easier to build them into bigger traffic calming projects. They also don't affect on-street parking. Cyclists can also safely ride over speed humps.

Disadvantages: A speed hump can delay emergency services up to 10 seconds. Speed humps may also increase traffic noise and vibration. They also may cause discomfort, if you need to drive over them every day.   

Speed tables

Speed tables are larger than speed humps, and slow car traffic in the same way. Speed tables have a flat top with ramps on either side. 

Speed tables are used on collector roads - typically found within 30 km/h school zones.

Size:  80 millimetres (3 inches) high and 6 metres (20 feet) long.

Typical Spacing: Usually 125 to 225 metres apart

Cost: $5,000 to $7,000 each.

Advantages: Emergency services and buses prefer speed tables over speed humps, because the flat top impacts their speed less. Speed tables also don't affect on-street parking. And, cyclists can safely ride over speed tables.

Disadvantages: A speed table can delay emergency services by up to 10 seconds. Speed tables may also increase traffic noise and vibration in the area. They also may cause discomfort, if you need to drive over them every day.

Raised crossings

Raised crossings are very similar to speed tables. But, raised crossings also create a more visible crossing for pedestrians. We usually put them in combination with speed tables or speed humps.

Size: 80 millimetres (3 inches) high and 6 metres (20 feet) long. The adjacent sidewalk is brought to the same height as the raised crossing, so the curbs match at each end.

Locations: Places where there many people crossing the road. For example, at existing marked crosswalks, and at locations with curb bulges - either existing curb bulges or ones that are being built together with the raised crossing.

Cost: About $20,000

Raised intersections

A raised intersection is a raised area of roadway, including pedestrian crossings, at an intersection.

Size: 80 millimetres (3 inches) high.

Location: At an intersection. We usually put them in combination with speed tables or speed humps.

Cost: Around $50,000, since the curbs, gutters, and sidewalk letdowns need to be reconstructed.

Advantages: Raised intersections increase the visibility of pedestrians because the crosswalk locations are also raised. Raised intersections also don't affect on-street parking. And, cyclists can safely ride over them.

Disadvantages: Raised intersections are very expensive compared to speed humps and speed tables, with little additional benefit. A raised intersection can delay emergency services can be delayed up to 10 seconds. They may also increase traffic noise and vibration. They also may cause discomfort, if you need to drive over them every day.

Traffic circles / buttons

Traffic circles / buttons slow drivers at intersections because all vehicles from all approaches must yield to traffic already inside the circle. The middle of a traffic circle is landscaped while a traffic button's middle is made of coloured asphalt.

The rules of the road are the same for traffic circles / buttons as for roundabouts. But this type of intersection control is meant to slow traffic and are only used on local roads.

Size: Traffic circles / buttons are much smaller than roundabouts

Location: Residential neighbourhoods at intersections with low daily traffic volumes and an equal amount of traffic on both roads. Roundabouts work better on roads with higher traffic volumes.

Cost: Around $50,000 - it may be higher when the sidewalks and drainage patterns are also impacted.

Advantages: Traffic circles / buttons can reduce motor vehicle collision severity by eliminating right-angle conflicts. They also can beautify the area around them.

Disadvantages: Traffic circles can restrict access and turning movement of larger and emergency vehicles. This may cause increase response time for emergency vehicles. They also may not reduce speeds on all approaches at T-intersections.

How to request traffic calming in your neighbourhood

Learn how to request traffic calming in your neighbourhood if traffic's too fast on your local road. We'll do surveys and watch traffic in your area and decide if your neighbourhood needs traffic calming. Then, we'll help choose which of the 5 traffic calming devices would help slow traffic the most.

While deciding where to put the devices, we look at locations of

  • bus stops,
  • intersections,
  • driveways,
  • manholes and catch basins,
  • streetlights,
  • grade of road,
  • road alignment,
  • length of road, and
  • road shoulder or curb.

    Contact our Transportation Planning Section, by eMail at TrafficCalming@Surrey.ca or by phone at 604-591-4580 if you have any questions on any of the 5 traffic calming devices, or on Surrey's Traffic Calming program.