As a 100% residential community, the Town of Hampstead places a very priority on safety on Town streets. Hampstead employs several different traffic calming measures to ensure that our residential neighbourhood is safe for children, pedestrians and cyclists, including the following:
Raised crosswalks, or ‘speed tables' as they are also known, are road humps that are flat on top with a crosswalk pattern imprinted on them. They are the same width as the street and rise to meet the grade of the sidewalk, providing safe and comfortable crossings for walkers and wheelchairs. One benefit of raised crosswalks is that people cross at the point where drivers decrease speed.
In Hampstead, these raised crosswalks have been installed in areas where there is typically high pedestrian traffic. This includes near parks and at intersections where the walking path network crosses the street. There are currently nine raised crosswalks in Hampstead.
Speed humps are the most common traffic calming tool in used in Hampstead. They are rounded asphalt mounds, approximately three inches high and 10 to 12 feet long. They effectively slow down traffic to 25-35 km/h without making drivers uncomfortable. For optimum speed reduction, road humps are placed at frequent, designated intervals based on the street's dimensions, to minimize the tendency to accelerate between them. Typically, this is in the mid-point of the block, where vehicle speeds are highest.
Speed humps are not to be confused with the speed bumps, which are usually at least 5-6″ high. Bumps are typically made of plastic and are very inexpensive, but they can be very jarring, even at slow speeds. They are also dangerous to cyclists, who can be seriously injured if they do not see one and hit it. Speed bumps are not used in Hampstead.
Bollards - plastic or rubber posts - are used to provide better definition of traffic lanes on dangerous curves. These obstacles force drivers to slow in the curve and stay in the correct traffic lane. Bollards are a seasonal traffic calming measure, as they must be removed before winter as they obstruct snow removal operations.
Flower pots, strategically placed along the side of the roadway, forces drivers to slow by narrowing the traffic lane. They are also used to warn drivers who may turn to drive the wrong way on a one-way street.