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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:

​Spee​​d 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. 

2022 Initiatives & Locations

Traffic Services staff within the Development Services Department worked with ward councillors and resident feedback collected through a 2021 online interactive mapping tool to determine the locations of traffic calming measures for 2022. The 2022 Traffic Calming Program consists of three main initiatives.

Radar Speed Boards

Radar Speed boards are rotated through the following locations for 2022 and locations can change in consultation with ward councillors. Staff work with our contractor to 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. 

Ward2022 Radar Speed Board Locations
  1. Grove Street East
  2. Cook Street
  1. Grove Street East
  2. Innisfil Street
  1. St. Vincent Street
  2. Livingstone Street East
  1. Anne Street North
  2. Cundles Road West
  3. Ferndale Drive North
  4. Sunnidale Road
  1. Pringle Drive
  2. Leacock
  1. Cumming Drive
  2. Elizabeth Street
  1. ​Essa Road - Northbound Traffic
  2. Essa Road - Southbound Traffic
  3. Marsellus Drive
  4. Mapleton Avenue
  5. Lougheed Road
  6. Harvie Road
  1. Essa Road
  2. Yonge Street
  3. Hurst Drive
  4. Huronia Road
  1. Country Lane
  2. Loon Avenue
  1. Succession Drive
  2. Pine Drive
Temporary Speed Cushions
Permanent Speed Cushions

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

WardPermanent Speed Cushion Location
1 Codrington St between Highland Ave and Nelson St
Cheltenham Rd between Weymouth Rd and Larkin Dr​
2 Codrington St between Berczy St and Dundonald St​​
Henry St between Anne St N and Frances St N
​3 Lions Gate Blvd between Pacific Ave and Capilano Ct
Hanmer St E between Stanley St and Cassandra Dr
​4Hanmer St W between Cassandra Dr and Nicklaus Dr​
Kozlov St between McDougall Dr and Pearcey Cr
​5 Pringle Dr between Ruffet Dr and Gross Dr 
​6 Summerset Dr between  Hawkins Dr and Wright Dr
Hawkins Dr between Ardagh Rd and Summerset Dr
7 Mapleton Ave between Boag Ct and Quance St
Harvie Rd between Emms Dr and Brown St
8 Holgate St between Granville St and William St
Cox Mill Rd between Dock Rd and Jean St
​9 Loon Ave between Gadwall Ave and Chalmers Dr
Raquel St between Russell Hill Dr and Shaina Ct
​10The Queensway between ​Empire Dr and Shamrock Ln​
Grand Forest Dr between Golden Meadow Rd and Hurst Dr​

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.

Why are the speed cushions on Hanmer Street different than the ones installed on other City streets?

The speed cushions have been installed to avoid bicycle lanes that are anticipated to be installed along this corridor in the future. In spring 2022, bollards will be installed on the side until the bike lanes are in.

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. Signals and signs include:

Traffic Signals

Staff program signals by time of day and day of week to optimize traffic flows throughout Barrie.​

Stop Signs

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

Pedestrian Crossovers​

Pedestrian crossovers were first installed in Barrie 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 the rules for pedestrian crossings.​

School Zone Flashing Signals​

School zone fla​​shing signals are tied to school arrival and departure times and do not operate outside of those days/​times.​

Coordinating S​igns & Signals​

Many factors are considered when coordinating signs and signals, including:

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

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 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 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

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


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