Service Barrie (705) 726-4242
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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:
From June 25 to August 31, 2021, the City is seeking feedback from Barrie residents on road safety in their neighbourhood and across the city, and how it might be improved. Please visit
buildingbarrie.ca/RoadSafety for more information and to share your feedback.
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:
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.
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 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.
Temporary speed cushions were installed in late spring 2021.
Installation of permanent speed cushions is planned for the fourth quarter of 2021.
Please email your councillor to express interest (see
Council contact information).
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.
If speed cushions are installed properly, passenger vehicles will not be able to avoid them.
When speed cushions are placed properly, cars cannot straddle them but emergency vehicles with wider custom chassis can.
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:
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.
Please contact Service Barrie at 705-726-4242 or
ServiceBarrie@barrie.ca with the following information:
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.
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.
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.
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:
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:
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.
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
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.
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 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.
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
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