Sherwood Drive traffic calming study

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Project status
Underway

Overview

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 [ PDF 485 KB ] was prepared to detail the results of the survey. 

Kenilworth Street trial road closure

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. Traffic data collected as part of the trial was analyzed and compiled into a Kenilworth Trial Closure Traffic Data Analysis Report [ PDF 1.270 MB ]

Public  consultation regarding the trial closure was carried out in spring 2022, including:

  • a virtual public meeting held on May 10, 2022, which included a presentation [ PDF 7.370 MB ] with an overview of the traffic data analysis and a questions and answers period, and
  • an online survey was conducted from April 18 to May 15, 2022 to gather public feedback on their experience with the trial closure and thoughts on a possible permanent closure. The results of this survey were compiled into an As We Heard It report [ PDF 428 KB ].

The majority of respondents (64%) did not support the idea of a potential permanent closure at the east end of Kenilworth Street.

Recommendations

The community feedback received at the public meeting and through the online survey was reviewed by City staff along with the results of the traffic data analysis.

A permanent closure at the east end of Kenilworth Street is not planned to be recommended as part of this study, given that:

  • The trial closure traffic data analysis showed notable changes in traffic patterns for certain side streets
  • There is low collision history at this intersection
  • Low community support for the idea of a potential permanent closure
  • There are other modifications that could improve the intersection with less secondary impacts (such as re-aligning crosswalks, designated cycling facilities, raised crosswalks and ladder pavement markings)

The feedback received did confirm the findings of the initial survey related to this intersection: there are concerns about confusion over right-of-way, uncertainty, and unpredictable behaviour. The greatest degree of concern was expressed for children/adolescent pedestrians and cyclists. Modifications to the 5-leg intersection which do not involve a road closure are being considered as shown in the Proposed concept plan below.

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 Proposed concept plan section for more details on the overall project.

Proposed concept plan (January 2023)

Based on traffic data, coordination with multiple stakeholders, public feedback and project constraints, a proposed concept plan has been developed.

The concept plan for Sherwood Drive includes:

  • Seven sets of speed cushions to slow vehicular traffic
  • Continuous cycling lanes along Sherwood Drive from Holland to Carling (except at Parkdale). Cycling lanes require the street to be signed “No Stopping”. As a result, the parking along Sherwood Drive would have to be removed.
  • New bulb-outs and converting existing bulb-outs for cyclists
  • Four raised crosswalks
  • Painted ladder markings at some locations
  • Closing the right-turn channel at Bayswater
  • Two community signs
  • Three benches

 

Sherwood Drive traffic calming concept plan

Learn more

Display Boards (including traffic calming measure purposes and pros/cons) [ PDF 2.023 MB ] 

Full size detailed concept plan [ PDF 13.693 MB ]

Consultation

Virtual Public Meeting

A virtual public meeting will be held on January 26, 2023 at 6pm via Zoom. This virtual public meeting will include a presentation from the project team on the draft recommendations, followed by an opportunity for you to ask questions.

Submit your questions in advance

Register in advance for the Zoom meeting

Online Survey

We encourage you to share your feedback by February 10, 2023 on the proposed traffic calming plan. If you will be attending the virtual public meeting, it is best to wait until after the meeting to fill out the short survey.

Feedback from the survey will be reviewed to help develop the final recommended concept plan.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Below are some project-specific questions and responses that have been received throughout this study. General FAQ about traffic calming can be found online.

Why was closing Kenilworth Street at the 5-leg intersection considered an option to 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 have made the roadway more consistent with what drivers expect and may have, in turn, helped drivers to navigate the intersection in a more predictable and successful manner. Closing a leg of the intersection would have also increased the amount of protected pedestrian space.

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.

Where do I go to get information about the Ottawa Hospital project?

We are coordinating with the traffic planners working on the new hospital file. For more information, please visit https://engage.ottawa.ca/the-ottawa-hospital-master-plan

Next Steps

After the online survey closes, we will share an “As We Heard It” report to summarize the feedback received. Feedback from the survey and other stakeholders will be reviewed along with traffic data to develop a final recommended concept plan.

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.

For any inquiries, please contact:

EtudeMCQ-NTCStudySherwood@ottawa.ca