City’s Traffic Calming Curbs win Canadian Award for Road Safety Engineering
The Transportation Association of Canada (TAC) has named The City of Calgary’s Temporary Traffic Calming Curbs program as the winner of 2019 Road Safety Engineering Award to be presented this September at their annual conference.
The City’s traffic calming curbs – those yellow, oval concrete structures you see all over the city – are making a big difference in keeping our roads safe at a relatively low-cost.
They were developed in 2016 by a small team of City employees led by The Leader of Traffic Safety, Tony Churchill. “We were getting requests for traffic calming in communities across the city that we were unable to fulfill for a variety of reasons including cost,” he said, adding that’s when the idea of the traffic calming curb was born.
He looked at the shape of many common traffic calming measures and developed an oval, low-profile concrete unit that could be placed in a variety of ways to create the same results of other, more expensive, traffic calming measures.“The goal of the traffic calming curbs is to change the dimensions of the road in a way that feels safer and also results in fewer injury or fatality collisions,” Churchill said. “And unlike traditional traffic calming measures, these curbs can be easily used to alter a space in a matter of hours without impacting utilities or drainage - all at about a tenth of the cost of conventional methods.”
The curbs were designed to withstand exposure to the elements and weigh over 770 kg (1,700 lbs) to prevent them from moving. They are also made out of reflective yellow cement to make them easier to see.Since the initial pilot of traffic calming curbs three years ago, a total of 730 curbs have now been deployed at 90 locations across the city. “The installation at Edenwold Drive and Edforth Way is a good example of the flexibility of the tool and the results they deliver,” said Churchill. “The intersection was wide beyond its need and this was resulting in a variety of risky behaviours including speeding, and not stopping for pedestrians or traffic control.”
The results of the data collected before and after implementation of the curbs on were found to be positive with a reduction in speed, increased
yielding and speed compliance and improved driver behaviour.
Churchill will have the opportunity to share information about traffic calming curbs with his peers from across Canada and Europe next week when The City hosts the Canadian Association of Road Safety Professionals (CARSP) Conference at Hotel Arts.
“We hope that traffic calming curbs and the resulting safety benefits we have seen in Calgary, can assist transportation professionals and jurisdictions across Canada and beyond,” he adds.
For more information on The City’s traffic calming curb program, visit Calgary.ca.
For more information on the conference, visit the CARSP Conference webpage.