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Speed Cushions on Sulphur Springs Rd

BACKGROUND AND PROCESS

Based on speeding concerns expressed by a number of residents in the area, City staff undertook a speed study on the one-kilometre stretch of Sulphur Springs Rd between Wilson St and Lovers Lane in Ancaster. The data was collected over three days; including peak AM and PM periods in October 2022 - during the previous term of Council - prior to the installation of traffic calming measures in 2023. The speeds of 10,745 vehicles are included in the dataset and were input into the City's standard Traffic Calming Scoring Assessment, informing their subsequent actions.

 
The total score from the assessment was 55 points, exceeding the total score required to warrant traffic calming which is 52 points for collector roadways. Although the Sulphur Springs Rd is classified as a local road, staff ran the warrant as a collector given the fairly high Average Daily Traffic Volumes (3581 vehicles/day).

As a secondary step, the residents from this section of Sulphur Springs Rd were surveyed asking for their feedback on the planned implementation of traffic calming. 97% of residents responded and 70% were in favour. Combined with the data collected by staff, the high level of support from the community solidified the case for the speed cushions that were installed. 

Here is a summary of the assessment. (Note: ADT = average daily traffic):  

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE DATA
The posted speed limit on this road is 40 km/h

 

  • 95.6% of vehicles were speeding

  • The 50th percentile speed of vehicles was 50 km/h. This means that half of the automobile traffic measured was traveling at 50km/h or below, and half was traveling faster than 50 km/h. 

 

  • More than half of motorists were traveling 10 km/h (or 25%) over the speed limit

 

  • The 85th  percentile speed of vehicles was 62 km/h. This means that 85% of the automobile traffic measured was traveling at 62km/h or below, and 15% was traveling faster than 62 km/h. 

 

  • 15% of motorists were traveling more than 22 km/h (or 55%) over the speed limit. There were 852 cars traveling between 65 km/h and 75 km/h, and 74 more recorded at speeds between 75km/h and 100 km/h. 

 

  • The maximum speed recorded  was 106 km/h 

Based on these findings, staff installed speed cushions to mitigate speeds. They were installed as part of the 2023 fall speed cushion installation program 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
 

WHAT IS A SPEED CUSHION?

A speed cushion is a traffic calming measure that utilizes vertical deflection in the pavement of a street to slow vehicles. A benefit to speed cushions is that they have minimal impact to emergency response times.

 

HOW ARE THEY EFFECTIVE?

Speed cushions are effective in reducing the speed of vehicle traffic; particularly in residential neighborhoods. Cushions reduce the number of vehicles that are excessively speeding, and can reduce the volume of traffic on a roadway by deterring cut-through traffic.

HOW IS PLACEMENT DECIDED?

The locations and number of cushions are chosen based on speed data, minimum spacing guidelines between traffic control and traffic calming devices, and driveway spacing. Additionally, the installation area must be clear of catch  basins and manholes.

WHEN ARE THEY INSTALLED?

Speed cushions are implemented twice per year:

Spring Install: Typically from May – June
Fall Install: Typically from August – November

WHAT ARE THE SPECIFICATIONS?

Speed cushions are constructed to 8 centimeters in height. They are designed with three separate "cushions" to accommodate emergency vehicles. All speed cushions are constructed from asphalt and must have accompanying warning signage installed adjacent to the construction location. Based on speed studies, speed cushions are still effective until 4 centimeters in height. Below this threshold, they will be replaced upon review. Damaged speed cushions can be reported directly to Transportation Operations and Maintenance

Transportation Operations - Public Works Department
1375 Upper Ottawa Street
Hamilton, Ontario, L8W 3L5
Email: TrafficOps@hamilton.ca
Call: 905-546-4376

HOW ARE THEY IMPLEMENTED?

City of Hamilton has a Traffic Calming process. Speed cushions are implemented via a traffic calming assessment, complete streets review, or Councillor motion. A request for Traffic Calming may be submitted to Roadway Safety or
your Councillor.

ARE CARS ALLOWED TO PARK OVER THEM?
Yes, speed cushions do not affect on-street parking where it is already permitted.

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