Traffic Calming Policy

    What is Traffic Calming?

    Traffic calming is a series of measures a City can implement to ease traffic concerns through physical changes (e.g., signage or road markings) and/or behaviour change (e.g., education or enforcement).

    What is a Traffic Calming Policy?

    A Traffic Calming Policy: 

    • is an official municipal document.  
    • outlines guidelines to make roads safer.  
    • outlines the process for initiating a traffic calming study.  
    • sets criteria to evaluate a traffic calming request.  
    • is paired with a toolkit (or menu) of solutions for City staff to consider in a neighbourhood 

    What is a Traffic Calming Toolkit?

    A Traffic Calming Toolkit is a menu of potential solutions a City might consider to address traffic concerns on a specific street. The Toolkit recognizes that no potential “fix” is one-size-fits-all. Toolkits typically include a series of physical road changes (e.g., speed bumps, rumble strips, stop signs, etc.). They can also include behaviour change initiatives such as road safety campaigns and traffic enforcement. The Toolkit is paired with a set of evaluation criteria, which are used to assess if a particular tool is the right fit for an identified area. The Toolkit supports City staff decision-making when assessing the design of streets in our community.


    The Traffic Calming Toolbox provided in Appendix A of the Neighbourhood Traffic Calming Policy details the measures available and any restrictions which may apply to your neighbourhood.

    Is this a Traffic Calming tool?

    The following is intended to help clarify some common questions about traffic calming tools, and what is not a traffic calming tool.

    Traffic Calming Tools

    1. On street parking falls under the Roadway Narrowing potential traffic calming measure.
    2. Automated speed enforcement/traffic cameras falls under Education and Enforcement measures, however the City of Peterborough does not have a program for this currently. 
    3. Speed Humps/Tables are raised sections of pavement that extend the entire width of the road and are several feet long. The vertical deflection is noticeable and discomforting for drivers but still allows drivers to comfortably maintain speeds below 30km/h. Speed Humps are commonly mislabelled as Speed Bumps.
    4. Speed Cushions are similar to Speed Humps/Tables, however they do not extend the entire width of the road. They are designed to allow large vehicles, with wider wheel bases (such as fire trucks and buses) to pass through gaps without slowing as much or experiencing the discomforting vertical deflection
    5. Speed Bumps are in essence shorter Speed Humps that create an abrupt vertical deflection intended to significantly slow down vehicles below 30km/h – examples of this tool can be found in parking lots where speeds need to be kept even lower than on the road. This traffic calming tool is not included in the City of Peterborough’s toolkit, however Speed Humps/Tables are.

    Not Traffic Calming Tools

    1. Traffic signals (commonly known as traffic lights) and stop signs represent traffic control tools, used to regulate the flow of road users through an intersection. They are not in the City’s toolkit of potential traffic calming tools. Traffic signals and stop signs are not considered traffic calming tools because their purpose is to assign right of way at an intersection. Too many lights or stop signs can contribute to increased congestion in an area, and can lead to driver frustration resulting in disobedience of road rules (such as rolling stops) or rushing between intersections. The project team can note feedback on the location of potential new traffic signals or stop signs for future study.
    2. Crosswalks themselves are not traffic calming measures, but are safety features that can have additional traffic calming measures applied with them such as textured pavement, raised crosswalks, or extensions of the sidewalk to shorten crossing distance.

    Why has the City developed a Traffic Calming Policy and Toolkit?

    The City is formalizing the process to receive, evaluate and address traffic calming requests The process provides Peterborough with a fair and standardized approach. The Policy incorporates best practices in traffic calming.  

    The final Council-approved Policy includes: 

    • A clear process to determine if traffic calming is appropriate for a given roadway. 
    • A set of typical traffic calming “tools”. 
    • neighbourhood engagement framework for future traffic calming studies. 

    Where can I find more information about the Neighbourhood Traffic Calming Policy?

    The Neighbourhood Traffic Calming Policy was approved by City Council in May of 2021. The policy document was created in conjunction with five pilot projects, one in each ward of the City. Additional information on these pilot projects as well as on the policy can be found at

Phase 2 Studies

    What were the Phase 1 Traffic Study Locations?

    Phase 1 of the project focused on the following five neighbourhoods:

    • Westridge Boulevard / Cherryhill Road – Monaghan Ward 
    • Franklin Drive – Northcrest Ward 
    • Auburn Street / Dunlop Street – Ashburnham Ward 
    • Sherburne Street / Morrow Street / Montgomery Street – Otonabee Ward 
    • Romaine Street – Town Ward 

    A map of ongoing studies can be found on the Traffic Calming Study Locations on the ConnectPTBO website.

    Where are the Phase 2 Traffic Study locations?

    Phase 2 of the project focuses on the following three neighbourhoods:

    • High Street between Landsdowne Street and Sherbrooke Street (Ward 1 – Otonabee) 
    • Highland Road between Chemong Road and Fairbairn Street (Ward 5 – Northcrest) 
    • Whitefield Drive/Golfview Road/Silverdale Road (Ward 1 – Otonabee)

    A map of ongoing studies can be found on the Traffic Calming Study Locations on the ConnectPTBO website.

    What has happened so far in Phase 2?

    In November 2021, the City of Peterborough launched Phase 2 of its Calm Streets PTBO traffic calming program. The project team spent December 2021 gathering input from community members about traffic issues in the three study areas through an online questionnaire. The City held workshops for each study area in January 2022 to discuss potential traffic calming solutions. In March 2022, the City conducted a second round of workshops (and a third for the Whitefield Drive, Golfview Road, and Silverdale Road study area) to present the traffic calming plans developed with input from the community for input and refinement. The engagement process culminated with a neighbourhood survey of properties in each study area to determine the level of support for the proposed plan. Individuals could complete this survey online or by returning the form by mail.

    What are the next steps for the traffic calming process?

    City of Peterborough staff will present a report to Council with recommendations on how to proceed with each traffic calming plan, informed by the neighbourhood survey results. Plans approved by City Council for implementation will be installed for a trial period to understand potential challenges. During this period, the City will gather input from local property owners and adjust the plan if necessary.

    At the end of the trial, City Council will decide whether to make the traffic calming plan permanent, incorporating any revisions identified through the trial installation.

Requesting a Neighbourhood Traffic Calming Study

    How do I submit a request for a Neighbourhood Traffic Calming Study?

    There are three methods available to submit a Neighbourhood Traffic Calming Study request: 

    1. The preferred method is to use the online form at This link also contains additional information about the traffic calming policy and process, as well as examples of previous traffic calming projects.
    2. Email the Neighbourhood Traffic Calming Study request form to
    3. Print and mail the completed Neighbourhood Traffic Calming Study request form to the following address:

    City of Peterborough Traffic Department

    Municipal Operations Center

    791 Webber Avenue

    Peterborough, ON

    K9J 8N3

    What is the process if I have a Traffic Calming concern?

    A study request goes through a seven-stage process. The two documents linked below detail the process and the assessments must go through.

    The following diagram provides a detailed version of Peterborough's Neighbourhood Traffic Calming Study process. You can also access a high-resolution version of this diagram on Page 13 of the Traffic Calming Policy.

    Does my neighbourhood meet the Traffic Calming requirements?

    The following table details the City's draft screening criteria to evaluate if a neighbourhood needs traffic calming. You can also access a high-resolution version of this diagram on Page 9 of the Traffic Calming Policy.

    How will the City prioritize neighbourhoods/ streets for implementing traffic calming?

    All locations are eligible for some type of traffic calming measures. Physical traffic calming measures are only available for local roads, low capacity collector roads, and high capacity collector roads which pass the initial screening criteria. Arterial roads and other roads which do not pass the initial screening criteria are restricted to education and enforcement measures only. The map of arterial and collector roadways can be used to determine what type of measures are appropriate for your street.

    The following two tables provide the criteria for prioritizing traffic calming on local streets, low capacity collectors, and high capacity collectors. You can also access a high-resolution version of this diagram on Pages 14 and 15 of the Traffic Calming Policy.

    Prioritization Criteria for Local Streets and Low-Capacity Collectors (page 14)

    Prioritization Criteria for High-Capacity Collectors (page 15)

    What if my request for physical traffic calming measures is denied?

    The Traffic Calming Toolbox details educational and enforcement measures which are available at locations which do not qualify for physical traffic calming measures.

General FAQs

    Who can I contact if I have questions?

    Questions should be directed to the project team by emailing

    How can I participate?

    The City will be consulting residents, property owners and people who work in the identified Phase 2 study areas. Feedback will be collected through scheduled virtual workshops, an online questionnaire, and communications with the City and consulting team. These opportunities will be available to those in the identified study areas.

    To stay up to date on Phase 2, or contact the project team with any comments or questions at:

    Phone:  (705) 742-7777


    What has happened so far?

    The City has now completed the Calm Streets PTBO traffic calming program pilot. Through this two-phase pilot, the City has developed and tested a new traffic calming policy, resident request assessment process, and community engagement strategy, and applied this framework in eight neighbourhoods.

    In Phase 1, the City of Peterborough selected a study area in each of the City’s five wards to trial this new approach to undertaking traffic calming studies. The City involved residents in the studies through an initial traffic issues questionnaire, two rounds of community workshops, engagement with a team of Calm Streets PTBO Community Ambassadors, and a final neighbourhood survey.

    Phase 2 continued the program trial with traffic calming studies for three additional areas. Through this phase, the City made further refinements and improvements to the engagement process, including increased “on-the-ground” engagement between the Calm Streets PTBO Community Ambassador team and study area residents.

    How can I stay informed of future updates?

    Sign up for project updates on the Sign up tab on to receive email updates!