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Residents Fighting for "Speed Bumps", But they may just have the wrong terminology.

Updated: Sep 30, 2022

Hey Ward 4 Neighbours, Some people think that since I'm fighting for speed reduction tools, and that I'm only talking about something called a "speed bump"!

As I clearly tried to state to council in my deputation (and as I speak to residents) - speed bumps are NOT the only solution for speed mitigation tactics, in fact there are better options and tools that ARE EFFECTIVE and PROVEN.

"People just use the term SPEED BUMPS as a universal term to describe physical road speed mitigation tools." Let me take a few moments to address some of the tools that I presented to council in my limited time deputation and also what's part of my platform on road safety. I'm not a safety infrastructure expert - but I have consulted with a few as well as urban planners and engineers about effective tools. I'm very confident that there is likely staff reports that have many of these options in them as well - I just haven't seen much of them implemented in Bradford like other towns and cities.

Some common concerns when people think "Speed Bumps" here:

  1. I see speed humps on some roads? So council have approved them, Why not everywhere?

  2. If there was issues with Speed Humps - then why did the council approve speeds humps and on some select throughway or collector roads and then say they are not a good solution or its a safety issue?

  3. What options are there for physical road bumps or designs that can more effectively slow speeders yet its snow plow and emergency vehicle friendly?

  4. We don't want to punish the people who are doing the right speeds. Are there tools that don't slow down an automobile to a crawl - but to reduce the dangerous speeds and street racing opportunities.

Answers: Some Ideal Speed Mitigation Tools:

Speed Table/Raised Crosswalks

  • Long, raised speed humps with a flat section in the middle and ramps on the ends; sometimes constructed with brick or other textured materials on the flat section

  • If placed at a pedestrian crossing, it is referred to as a raised crosswalk

  • If placed only in one direction on a road, it is called an offset speed table


  • No impact on non-emergency access.

  • Typically preferred by fire departments over speed humps.

  • Speeds reductions typically less than for speed humps.

  • Speeds typically decline between tables for each 100 feet beyond the 200-foot approach and exit points of consecutive speed tables.

  • Average traffic volumes diversions of 20 percent when a series of speed tables are implemented.

  • Average crash rate reduction of 45 percent on treated streets.\

  • Increase pedestrian visibility and likelihood of driver yield compliance.

Speed Hump / Speed "Bump"

  • Rounded (vertically along travel path) raised areas of pavement typically 12 to 14 feet in length

  • Often placed in a series (typically spaced 260 to 500 feet apart)

  • Sometimes called road humps or undulations


  • No impact on non-emergency access

  • Average speeds between humps reduced between 20 and 25 percent

  • Speeds typically increase approximately 0.5 to 1 mph midway between humps for each 100 feet Beyond the 200-foot approach and exit of consecutive humps

  • Traffic volumes diversion estimated around 20 percent; average crash rates reduced by 13 percent.

  • Impacts to ease of emergency-vehicle throughput

  • Approximate delay between 3 and 5 seconds per hump for fire trucks and up to 10 seconds for ambulances with patients

Speed Cushions

  • Two or more raised areas placed laterally across a roadway with gaps between raised areas

  • Height and length similar to a speed hump; spacing of gaps allow emergency vehicles to pass through at higher speeds

  • Often placed in a series (typically spaced 260 to 500 feet apart) • Sometimes called speed lump, speed slot, and speed pillow


  • Limited-to-no impact on non-emergency access

  • Speeds determined by height and spacing; speed reductions between cushions have been observed averaging 20 and 25 percent

  • Speeds typically increase by 0.5 mph midway between cushions for each 100 feet of separation

  • Studies indicate that average traffic volumes have reduced by 20 percent depending on alternative routes available

  • Average collision rates have been reduced by 13 percent on treated streets

  • Speed cushions have minimal impact on emergency response times, with less than a 1 second delay experienced by most emergency vehicles

Raised Intersection

  • Flat raised areas covering entire intersections, with ramps on all approaches and often with brick or other textured materials on the flat section and ramps

  • Sometimes referred to as raised junctions, intersection humps, or plateaus


  • Reduction in through movement speeds likely at intersection

  • Reduction in mid-block speeds typically less than 10 percent

  • No impact on access

  • Can make entire intersections more pedestrian-friendly

  • No data available on volume diversion or safety impacts

  • Slightly slows emergency vehicles

  • Appropriate for primary emergency vehicle routes and streets with access to a hospital or emergency medical services

Chicanes or Road Chokers

  • A series of alternating curves or lane shifts that force a motorist to steer back and forth instead of traveling a straight path

  • Also called deviations, serpentines, reversing curves, or twists

  • Curb extension is a lateral horizontal extension of the sidewalk into the street, resulting in a narrower roadway section

  • If located at an intersection, it is called a corner extension or a bulb-out

  • If located midblock, it is referred to as a choker

  • Narrowing of a roadway through the use of curb extensions or roadside islands


  • No effect on access, although heavy trucks may experience challenges when negotiating

  • Limited data available on impacts to speed and crash risk

  • Street sweeping may need to be done manually

  • Minimal anticipated volume diversion from street

  • May require removal of some on-street parking

  • Provides opportunity for landscaping

  • Unlikely to require utility relocation

  • Not a preferred crosswalk location

  • Bus passengers may experience discomfort due to quick successive lateral movements

  • Encourages lower speeds by funneling it through the pinch point

  • Can result in shorter pedestrian crossing distances if a mid-block crossing is provided • May force bicyclists and motor vehicles to share the travel lane

  • May require some parking removal

  • May require relocation of drainage features and utilities

  • Appropriate along primary emergency vehicle routes

  • Retains sufficient width for ease of use for emergency vehicles

Traffic Circle (Roundabouts)

  • Raised islands placed in unsignalized intersections around which traffic circulates

  • Approaching motorists yield to motorists already in the intersection

  • Require drivers to slow to a speed that allows them to comfortably maneuver around them

  • Approaches not designed to modern roundabout principals - no deflection

  • Education to drivers on how to use these is critical


  • Minimal anticipated traffic diversion

  • Bicyclist and motorists will share lanes at intersections because of narrowed roadway

  • Large vehicles/buses usually not able to circulate around center island for left turns

  • Landscaping needs to be designed to allow adequate sight distance, per AASHTO

  • Minimize routing of vehicles through unmarked crosswalks on side-streets

  • May require additional street lighting

  • Emergency vehicles maneuver intersections at slow speeds

  • Constrained turning radii typically necessitates a left turn in front of the circle for large vehicles

On-Street Parking

  • Many resident need more parking - especially as homes are not affordable for many young adults, so 4+ cars per household is very common.

  • Allocation of paved space to parking

  • Narrows road travel lanes and increases side friction to traffic flow

  • Can apply on one or both sides of roadway

  • Can be either parallel or angled, but parallel is generally preferred for maximized speed reduction


  • Can be blocked in by snow during plowing operations; required vehicle removal

  • May limit road user visibility and sight distance at driveways/alleys/intersections

  • Can put bicyclists at risk of colliding with car doors

  • May be impacted if other traffic calming measures are considered or implemented

  • Provides buffer between moving vehicles and pedestrian facilities

  • Preferred by emergency responders to most other traffic calming measures

  • Requires consideration of design of parking lanes near hydrants and other emergency features

Automated Photo Radar / Enforcement

  • This is a Revenue generating and highly effective tool to curb speeding.

  • This targets the license plate and can ensure youth driving parents vehicles are identified.

  • VERY EXPENSIVE. So the need to rotate around town and cannot be a permanent solution to the homes in most areas.


“The Ontario government has been clear and consistent in its messaging to all municipalities since the introduction of ASE that there are no plans to expand the use of ASE beyond the existing scope.”


As you can see these low to medium cost solutions / tools as well as several others I didn't document here, that could be implemented in our communities.

Lets not make "speed bumps" a dirty word - but understand what the residents are asking for instead... Physical road mitigation tools! So together we can be effective in making things Safer Where We Live™


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