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Traffic Control

A well-managed and coordinated traffic control system reduces fuel use, travel time, traffic congestion, accidents and pollution. This page contains information on Barrie’s traffic control measures.

By applying traffic control measures, Traffic Services staff contribute to the safe movement of pedestrians, cyclists, transit users and motorists throughout Barrie. This page contains information about:

​New Type of Pedestrian Crossing

Development Services staff planned for the installation of two pedestrian crossovers in 2021. Pedestrian crossovers are a type of traffic control that provide a way for pedestrians to cross the road easily and safely. They’re different from crosswalks because they're often at a stretch of road where there is no intersection. Learn more about the new pedestrian crossovers.

Speed Limits

Ontario's Ministry of Transportation’s Highway Traffic Act (HTA) sets a default municipal speed limit of 50 km/h on roadways within cities, towns, villages or built-up areas. The HTA grants the City authority to set speed limits; under this legislation, set speed limits range from 40–80 km/h in 10 km/h intervals.

City policy mandates a 40 km/h speed limit in front of elementary schools and for roadways whose geometric design cannot support a 50 km/h or higher limit. On major roads where elementary schools are present, a "40 km/h when flashing" speed limit may be considered. Speed limits on major roads are influenced by many factors, including:

• Roadway design• Collision history
• Roadway classification• Pedestrian activity
• Vehicle operating speeds• Driveway spacing
• Adjacent development• Location of signalized intersections

Traffic Calming

Traffic calming is the installation of physical measures to alter negative motorist driving behavior. The objective is to achieve uniform driving patterns at reduced speeds on roads where lower speeds enhance safety and livability in neighbourhoods. Traffic-calmed streets are intended to improve residents’ quality of life and increase safety for active transportation users.

Effective traffic calming measures include radar speed advisory boards, road diets, temporary speed cushions, bollard islands, and bollard chicanes. Please refer to the  Traffic Calming Policy to learn about the City’s overall approach to traffic calming. In 2022, Development Services staff will be performing a review of the current Traffic Calming Policy and reviewing industry best practices. 

2021 Initiatives & Locations

Traffic Services staff within the Development Services Department worked with ward councillors and resident feedback collected through a 2020 online interactive mapping tool to determine the locations of traffic calming measures for 2021. The 2021 Traffic Calming Program consists of three main initiatives.

Radar Speed Boards

Radar Speed boards are rotated through the following locations for 2021 and locations can change in consultation with ward councillors. Staff work with our contractor to quarterly rotate speed boards throughout all ten (10) wards.

Radar speed boards provide a visual queue to motorists to help reduce their operating speeds. Studies have shown radar speed boards reduce vehicle speeds between 3–5km/h.

The radar speed boards also allow staff to collect information regarding vehicle speeds and daily traffic volumes. This data can then be used to provide detailed information to assist in recommendations to address operational and safety concerns. This information and data can be provided to Barrie Police Service regarding peak hours for evidence-based enforcement to help increase efficiencies. 

Ward2021 Radar Speed Board Locations
1
  1. Codrington Street
  2. Duckworth Street north of Napier Street
  3. Johnson Street north of Grove Street
  4. Steel Street
  5. Shanty Bay Road
  6. Cheltenham Road east of Johnson Street
​2
  1. Innisfil Street between John Street and Tiffin Street
  2. Codrington Street between Berczy Street and Dundonald Street
  3. Lakeshore Drive between Victoria Street and Simcoe Street
  4. Grove street between St. Vincent Street and Lay Street
  5. Rose Street between Peel Street and Davidson Street
​3
  1. ​Stanley Street between Livingstone Street & Hanmer Street
  2. St. Vincent Street
  3. Ferris Lane
  4. Cardinal Street
  5. Cassandra Drive
​4
  1. Anne Street North between Sunnidale Road and Hanmer Street
  2. Kozlov Street between Heather Street and Cundles Road
  3. Hodgson Drive
  4. Lillian Street
  5. Glendale Drive
​5
  1. Edgehill Drive between Ferndale Drive and Fox Run
  2. Leacock Drive between Fox Run to Broadfoot Road
  3. Pringle Drive between Sproule Drive and Ruffet Drive
  4. Letitia Street between Leacock Drive and Anne Street
  5. Miller Drive between Edgehill Drive and Sproule Drive
​6
  1. Ardagh Road near Hawkins Drive
  2. Ferndale Drive near Ferndale Woods School
  3. Patterson Road northbound on hill
  4. Cumming Drive northbound on hill
  5. Elizabeth Street between Ardagh Road and James Street. (1 crossing)
  6. Summerset Drive near the schools
​7
  1. ​Coughlin Road
  2. Athabaska Road
  3. Holly Meadow Road near Dykstra Drive
  4. Mapleton Avenue between Essa Road and Veterans Drive
  5. Essa Road northbound near Salem Road
  6. Mapleview Drive west of Essa Road
  7. Lougheed Road south of Mapleview Drive
8
  1. White Oaks Road
  2. Little Avenue near Highcroft Road
  3. Big Bay Point Road east of Huronia Road by schools
9
  1. Yonge Street between Big Bay Point Road and Mapleview Drive
  2. Country Lane between Mapleview Drive and Yonge Street
10
  1. Pine Drive near Bayshore Park
  2. Succession Crescent south of The Queensway
Temporary Speed Cushions
Permanent Speed Cushions

Installation of permanent speed cushions will take place September to October, 2021. See construction project details.​

WardPermanent Speed Cushion Location
1 Codrington St between Highland Ave and Nelson St
2 Codrington St between Berczy St and Dundonald St​​
​3 Lions Gate Blvd between Pacific Ave and Capilano Ct
​4Hanmer St W between Anne St and Finlay Rd.
​5 Letitia St between Callaghan Dr and Frost Trail
​6 Summerset Dr between  Hawkins Dr and Wright Dr
7 Mapleton Ave between Boag Ct and Quance St
8 Holgate St between Granville St and William St
​9 Loon Ave between Gadwall Ave and Chalmers Dr
​10The Queensway between ​Empire Dr and Shamrock Ln​

Traffic Calming FAQs

How can I get a traffic calming measure installed on my street?

Please email your councillor to express interest (see Council contact information).

Don’t stop signs do the same thing?

A stop sign is not a speed control device; stop signs allocate right-of-way travel at intersections. When used for speed control drivers may generally disobey the sign and do not stop, which is extremely dangerous.

Do motor vehicles tend to use the center of the road when speed cushions are installed?

If speed cushions are installed properly, passenger vehicles will not be able to avoid them.

How do speed cushions impact emergency vehicles, buses, and plows?

When speed cushions are placed properly, cars cannot straddle them but emergency vehicles with wider custom chassis can.

When determining the location of speed cushions throughout Barrie, transit routes are one of the considerations in the overall assessment. Where possible the City will not install speed cushions on transit routes. However, in a case where installation is deemed necessary for traffic calming, buses would slow down and approach the bumps just as a car would.

Like other vehicles, plows must reduce speeds over permanent speed cushions during winter maintenance activities on Barrie's roads. The slope is gradual, so plows can slide over the asphalt cushions and follow the contour without having the edges dig in. The City's Operations department has ensured the safety of staff and also confirmed there are no concerns regarding damage to municipal vehicles.

What is the difference between a speed cushion and speed bump?

Speed bumps and speed cushions are very similar in that they are both used to slow vehicles down.  A speed bump is usually taller and narrower and you would likely find them in a shopping plaza and a speed cushion is larger and not as tall as a speed bump and also not as abrupt as a speed bump would be.

Traffic Signals & Signs

Traffic signals and signs direct the Right-Of-Way (ROW) for motorists and pedestrians by guiding and regulating traffic flow. City crews maintain existing signals and signs and install new ones when approved. By using specific time-of-day signal timing plans, staff optimize traffic flow during times of heavy traffic. Many factors are considered when coordinating signs and signals, including:

• Distance between signalized intersections• Traffic volume
• Pedestrian traffic• Speed limit
• On-street parking• Left turning traffic
• Bus stops• Collision history

Stop signs are designed to regulate vehicular and pedestrian ROW at intersections. Ontario-wide criteria is used when evaluating the need for stop sign installation, including: traffic volumes, collision history, intersection sightline visibility, and road geometry.

Pedestrian Crossovers

In 2021, the City is installing a new traffic control measure called pedestrian crossovers. These are being piloted in two locations Mapleview Drive East near St. Paul’s Crescent, and at Bell Farm Road/Alliance Blvd as part of the Bell Farm Road construction project​. Once these first two crossovers are installed, there may be others installed in additional city locations in the future, based on the success of this pilot project. About pedestrian crossovers:

  • Pedestrian crossovers are a type of traffic control that provide a way for pedestrians to cross the road easily and safely. They’re different from crosswalks because they're often at a stretch of road where there is no intersection. 
  • At a crossover, vehicles must yield to pedestrians whe​n crossing, and wait until the pedestrian has fully crossed the street. Once the pedestrian has fully crossed the street, vehicles can proceed even if the lights are still flashing. Crossovers are different from a crosswalk, where drivers don't need to wait until the pedestrian fully reaches the other side.
  • At a crossover, it’s the law to wait until pedestrians have completely crossed to the other side before proceeding. Penalties for drivers who endanger pedestrians by failing to yield at crossovers include fines of up to $1,000 and loss of four demerit points. These fines are doubled in Community Safety Zones.
  • Pedestrian crossovers have amber flashing LED lights which are visible day and night.
  • Pedestrian crossovers help create safer neighbourhoods and improve active transportation options.​

Traffic Signals & Signs FAQs

Who should I contact to report issues with traffic signals or signs?

Please contact Service Barrie at 705-726-4242 or ServiceBarrie@barrie.ca with the following information:

  • Nearest street address, intersection or number marked on the pole of the signal affected.
  • Time and day of issue.
  • Description of the issue:
    • Signal out/on flash
    • Signals cycling on and off
    • Signals are not changing/stuck
    • Physical damage
    • Wires down or exposed
    • Signals are damaged, knocked over or hanging off
    • Roadway lighting is out
    • Roadway lighting
    • Sign is worn out/damaged/missing
Do traffic signals or stop signs control speeding?

Traffic signals are not intended to be used as a speed control device, but rather a guide for drivers and pedestrians traveling through intersections and along roads.

Stops signs are not intended to be used as a speed control device. Extensive stop sign use tends to frustrate motorists which may result in low stopping compliance and increased mid-block vehicle speeds.

How do I request longer walk or green signal timings at a signalized intersection?

Please contact Service Barrie: 705-726-4242 or ServiceBarrie@barrie.ca. Revisions to existing signal timings may be considered after a review of the intersection’s operations and it is determined that the intersection’s operation can be improved.

How often is signal timing reviewed?

In addition to responding to the daily changes in traffic, Traffic Services routinely perform a comprehensive review of the timing at each traffic signal. This review considers the increased number of vehicles each year, changes to the roads, new roads, and traffic signals.

How do I request a new traffic-related signal or sign?

Requests for road signs and/or signals are to be directed to the ward councillor. Please email your councillor to express interest (see Council contact information).

Councillors may provide direct motions through the Clerk's Office for consideration of City Council, due to that amount of staff time required to complete and implement requests for the following:

  • All way stop
  • No parking
  • New Traffic Signals
  • New Pedestrian Crosswalks/Pedestrian Signals
  • New Advanced Arrows at signalized intersections
  • New Speed Limits/Community Safety Zone

Please note that all new signal or sign installations are subject to the Province of Ontario’s signal justification process. Several criteria are reviewed when determining if a new signal or sign is justified, including one or more of the following:

  • Intersection traffic volumes
  • Delay to cross traffic
  • Collision history
  • Pedestrian volume
  • Pedestrian delay
Why don't pedestrian traffic signals show "walk" with every green light for vehicles?

At a traffic signal, the major roadway will have a green signal display and walking man display forever until a vehicle hits the vehicle detector or the pedestrian pushes the button; at that time, the signal will change. This is to make the intersection more efficient and reduce delays for the majority of traffic, and is a typical practice for the minor roadway at traffic signals.

When a vehicle drives over the detector it sends a signal to the cabinet to change and provide roughly 10 seconds of green time; this time will extend if multiple cars arrive, adding 3 seconds to the timing for every vehicle approaching. When a pedestrian pushes the button, this switches, giving the maximum amount of pedestrian time available.

Forcing the pedestrian to push the button (as outlined on these signs at applicable intersections) guarantees the maximum amount of walking time to begin crossing on a fresh walking man display. If the signal came up automatically for the minor streets, it may be on for 5 seconds already so if the pedestrian begins to cross, he/she will not make it in time.

What do I do if signals are flashing at an intersection?

While signals are in ‘flash’, motorists are expected to treat them as an all-way stop. If this is an isolated incident and you do not see workers present, please contact Service Barrie with the intersection, time of day and description of the issue: 705-726-4242 or ServiceBarrie@barrie.ca.

Is the timing of traffic signals changed in areas where construction has closed part of the road?

Traffic Services modifies the signal timings where construction will last a long duration. The timings are modified to suit the construction but staff must always must be mindful of “Local Traffic,” pedestrians or other users that are permitted to enter and exit the Closed Construction Area (including the cumbersome and slow-moving construction vehicles). It is often not possible to turn the signal off or leave them green indefinitely.

Traffic Monitoring

Staff monitor all major roadways daily to minimize traffic delays and disruption, using traffic signal software, video, and GPS technology to continuously monitor signals and flow along Barrie's major arterial and collector routes.

Video & Software: Staff monitor 60" screens displaying real-time information on traffic signals at major intersections. The software indicates whether traffic signals are functioning properly; crews are dispatched to repair malfunctioning signals.

Diagnostic Checks: Remotely-performed daily diagnostic checks on traffic signal equipment indicate disruptions in signal pattern (i.e. a fire truck overriding signal timing or a lightning strike), for which crews are dispatched to repair.

GPS: Real-time traffic-flow data, collected by GPS technology in City vehicles, are regularly collected and compared with previous results. Signal timing adjustments are made if necessary.  

Traffic Monitoring FAQs

Why are Mapleview Drive, Bayfield Street and other major roads congested during peak hours?

Traffic signals are timed to move the maximum number of vehicles through an intersection and along a corridor in the safest and most efficient manner. Many factors add to the difficulty of minimizing stop-and-go traffic in all directions: closely spaced signals; intersections where major streets cross; changes in traffic volume; traffic collisions; emergency vehicles; roadwork; and weather.

Please note: BFES vehicles have the ability to change the signal to green or hold the green. This can disrupt timing patterns for up to 10 minutes after a fire vehicle has left the intersection.

Where can I find information regarding traffic volumes?

The City’s Geographic Information Systems (GIS) provide information including Traffic Counts, Road Services and Road Closures (click 'Map Content" on the upper left toolbar of Discover Barrie to change the information displayed).

If you would like more specific information, please contact Service Barrie: 705-726-4242 or ServiceBarrie@barrie.ca.

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