Active transportation expansion

To inform residents of active transportation initiatives, creating safer spaces for walking, cycling and other modes of active transportation.

On this page

  1. Pedestrian crossovers
  2. Speed limit reductions
  3. Slow streets and temporary closed roads

Pedestrian crossovers

A pedestrian crossover is a marked road crossing where drivers and cyclists by law must stop for pedestrians wanting to cross the road. A driver must wait for a pedestrian to cross completely before driving through the crossover.  

A crossover is not like a crosswalk because it is not located in an intersection with traffic signals, pedestrian signals or stop signs. Some pedestrian crossovers do have flashing lights to help catch the attention of drivers.

Both drivers and pedestrians have to understand and follow the rules of the road.

It is important for drivers to:
  • pay attention to what’s around you and be ready to stop for pedestrians waiting to cross the road
  • stop behind marked yield line, “sharks teeth” markings, or little triangles
  • make eye contact with pedestrians to make sure they see you
  • allow the pedestrian to cross the length of the road before driving through the crossover. This may be from curb to opposite curb, or from curb to median curb if the crossover is a two-stage crossover, as on University Avenue at Park Road.
  • you may drive with caution once the road is clear, even if the lights are still flashing 
For pedestrians, it is important to:
  • use caution and make sure the driver or cyclist has enough time to stop before you begin to cross
  • stand close to the curb, press the button to activate the flashing lights if applicable
  • making eye contact to ensure the drivers can see you before you begin cross
  • look both ways and look for traffic to stop
  • cross when traffic has come to complete stop and you feel it’s safe
  • if you are crossing at a two-stage crossover, you will need to push the button and repeat the process from the median/island
For cyclists, it is important to:
  • dismount, follow the rules for pedestrians and walk with your bike
  • when riding with traffic follow rules for drivers
Types of crossovers

There are three types of pedestrian crossovers, called B, C or D. They all have lines that mark the crossing area, roadside signs and a clear spot for motorist and cyclists to stop, with noticeable differences marked below. 

Type B

Pedestrians crossing at a crossover

  • flashing lights
  • overhead signs

Type C

Pedestrians crossing at a crossover

  • located at University Avenue at Park Street, and on Regina Street at the Spur Line trail
  • flashing lights

Type D

Pedestrians crossing at a crossover

  • located in most roundabouts in the city
  • only roadside signs
  • no flashing lights

Speed limit reductions

Speed limits are temporarily reduced to 40 km/h on select streets and within two neighbourhood zones. Other streets have temporary speed humps as a form of traffic calming. 

Traffic data is being collected to help determine the effects of these changes and if they should be made permanent.

Two options for residential speed limits are being researched. View the details of the project. The survey closed on April 4.

Neighbourhoods with speed reduction

  • Eastbridge* (entire area within Bridge, University, Eastbridge and Chesapeake)
  • Old Abbey (adjacent to Davenport Road, Northfield Drive and Bridge Street)
  • Westvale* (entire area within Ira Needles, Erb, University and Fischer-Hallman)

* includes a 30 km/h speed limit in school zone within area

Streets with temporary speed bumps

  • Dunvegan Drive
  • Margaret Avenue (from Lincoln to Bridgeport)
  • Woolwich Street

Streets with speed reduction

  • Auburn Drive
  • Beechlawn Drive
  • Beechwood Drive
  • Braemore Avenue
  • Brandenburg Boulevard
  • Dale Crescent
  • Gatestone Boulevard
  • Glenridge Drive
  • Glen Forrest Boulevard
  • Laurelwood Drive
  • Northlake Drive
  • Sandowne Drive
  • Sundew Drive (Twin Leaf to Mayapple)
  • William Street (from Park to Westmount)

2020 slow streets and temporary closed roads

Slow streets

To increase the space available for active transportation due to COVID-19, select streets temporarily became 'slow streets' where people could share road space with vehicles if needed.

Temporary closed roads

We closed streets to traffic on Willis Way and Princess Street during the summer. People were encourage to walk, cycle or roll on the street and picnic tables were available in both locations. 

Signs were posted at entrances and exits to slow and closed streets. Access for emergency vehicles and waste collection was maintained.

The City of Waterloo was encouraged by the use of slow streets and temporary closed roads and looks forward to studying further use of these active transportation methods as part of our Transportation Master Plan. 

Project background and engagement

In May 2020 city council unanimously approved a motion directing staff to review opportunities to create more active transportation space to help with physical distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Staff developed a series of temporary and permanent actions to assist in this direction. Many municipalities across Ontario and Canada are adopting a similar approach.

We will be opening an engagement topic related to speed limit reductions soon. We thank everyone who participated in our previous active transportation engagement topics.