Sherwood Drive traffic calming study
In response to traffic concerns raised by residents regarding Sherwood Drive, the City of Ottawa has initiated a study to address these concerns.
This study will investigate traffic conditions and driver behaviour on Sherwood Drive, reconsider previous traffic calming recommendations that emerged from an older study, and develop new recommendations. Please note that this study will focus on key locations within the means of the Neighbourhood Traffic Calming (NTC) program capacities.
Information on traffic calming
Traffic calming is defined as the combination of mainly physical measures that reduce the negative effects of motor vehicle use, alter driver behaviour and improve conditions for non-motorized street users. For more information, please refer to the Traffic Calming Design Guidelines.
Initial online survey and As We Heard It Report
To confirm if there was a reasonable level of support to proceed with this study, and to understand your concerns related to traffic along Sherwood Drive, we had developed an online survey that closed on November 16, 2020.
Following this initial online survey, an As We Heard It report was prepared to detail the results of the survey. A link to the report is provided below.
Amongst other feedback, the results of the initial online survey indicated community concerns over the 5-leg intersection of Sherwood Drive / Fairmont Avenue / Kenilworth Street. City staff reviewed potential options for simplifying this intersection. Closing one leg of this intersection to make it into a more standard 4-leg intersection was considered and a trial closure of Kenilworth Street at the intersection was conducted from June 21 to November 1, 2021.
Potential modifications to the Sherwood Drive / Fairmont Avenue / Kenilworth Street intersection are just one component to the overall Sherwood Drive Traffic Calming study. See the Next Steps section for more details on the overall project.
The intent of this trial was to:
provide residents with an opportunity to test out the potential benefits/impacts of a closure, and
collect traffic data.
This information will be used to assist the City in assessing what kind of modification may be worth pursuing, or not, as part of the complete package of potential recommendations for the Sherwood Drive Traffic Calming Study. Community feedback is an important component to help draft recommendations.
Traffic Data Analysis Report
The collected traffic data was analyzed and compiled into the report below:
We encourage you to fill out the survey by May 15, 2022 to share your experience with the trial, including potential benefits/impacts and your thoughts on a possible permanent closure. Your feedback is important to inform the study team as we prepare recommendations.
If you will be attending the virtual public meeting, it is best to wait until after the meeting to fill out the survey.
How would closing Kenilworth Street at the intersection improve safety?
The TAC Geometric Design Guide (2017) recommends that best practice in roadway design includes creating predictable experiences for drivers:
"[…] there is a close link between how roads are built and how people use them [...] If perceptual clues are clear and consistent, the task of adaptation is made easier and the response of drivers will be more appropriate and uniform."
5-leg intersections are uncommon. Altering the intersection to have only 4 legs would make the roadway more consistent with what drivers expect and would, in turn, help drivers to navigate the intersection in a more predictable and successful manner. Closing a leg of the intersection also increases the amount of protected pedestrian space.
What does the City recommend regarding a permanent closure of Kenilworth?
The City does not have a recommendation yet, as feedback from residents is an important factor to determine what the most suitable modification to the intersection would be.
A full or partial closure to vehicular traffic of Kenilworth Street at the Sherwood Drive / Fairmont Avenue / Kenilworth Street intersection would create a more standard 4-leg intersection, and therefore, a more predictable experience. This would improve safety, as roadways that are more consistent with drivers’ expectations enable drivers to respond to situations with greater success.
The City's recommendations will take into account your feedback and will be presented to the community again for your input later this year, when the draft functional design for the entire Sherwood Drive Traffic Calming Study has been finalized.
What would a permanent closure look like?
A permanent closure would not include planter boxes. Construction would tie into the existing permanent features of the roadway, including curbs, pedestrian/cyclist access, and other features to be determined in consultation with the community (e.g. additional greenspace, "shared space", etc.).
A one-way closure of Kenilworth Street is a possible alternative. This could still provide some safety benefits as the number of movements entering or exiting this intersection would be reduced.
What other types of changes could be made to the Sherwood Drive / Fairmont Avenue / Kenilworth Street intersection?
Some other ideas that the City is investigating for this intersection include ladder markings on the crosswalks, raised crosswalks, and re-aligning crosswalks to better suit pedestrian desire lines.
Could a mini-roundabout be installed at the 5-leg intersection?
We have investigated the possibility of a mini-roundabout at this intersection and it would unfortunately not be feasible due to the geometry of the intersection and presence of utility infrastructure.
What other opportunities are there for closing Kenilworth?
The City does not currently have funding plans for urban realm improvements at this location, however, increasing pedestrian comfort in the centre of the Civic Hospital Neighbourhood may create opportunities for future projects, such as adding gardens, public art, or a hardscaped community space in the “triangle” between Sherwood and Kenilworth.
It’s possible that a smaller project could be community-led and low cost. A more complex project may require its own feasibility study and/or funding from other sources.
What other types of measures will be recommended for Sherwood Drive?
After reviewing public feedback from the Kenilworth Street trial closure survey, we will prepare an “As We Heard It” report summarizing the responses. The responses from the survey and results of the traffic data analysis will be used to develop recommendations for potential modifications to the Sherwood Drive / Fairmont Avenue / Kenilworth Street intersection.
The City is continuing to work on recommendations for the entire study limits (Sherwood Drive from Carling Avenue to Holland Avenue). Once potential concept designs have been drafted, these concepts will be shared with the public for feedback.
When study recommendations have been finalized and funding secured, the approved traffic calming plan would proceed to design and construction. The entire process from study initiation to final construction can take approximately 2.5 to 4 years to complete.