Speed Cushion Pilot Project

What is a Speed Cushion?

Speed cushions are a new traffic calming measure being piloted in HRM to encourage slower speeds of travel by causing discomfort for drivers travelling at higher speeds. Like a speed table or speed hump, speed cushions are a raised area of a roadway which causes the vertical upward movement of travelling vehicles, while providing open channels to minimize impacts on larger vehicles such as emergency service vehicles and transit buses.

HRM installed the first pilot project on Robie Street in 2022. The installation resulted in an overall speed reduction, however the infrastructure will continue to be monitored while collecting additional feedback from stakeholders. This will help inform the development of standards for future projects. 

Greyscale map showing the six locations of new speed cushions installed on Robie Street

Locations of speed cushions in 2022 Robie Street pilot project.

How Should a Driver Navigate Speed Cushions?

  • Speed cushions include channels which are designed for large vehicles, such as transit buses and fire trucks, to pass through with minimal impact.
  • The wheel track of a passenger vehicle is too narrow to fit in the channels, and thus passenger vehicles must traverse over the deflections. 
  • Cyclists can choose to traverse over the speed cushions or avoid them entirely by travelling through the channels between the raised elements. 
  • There is no impact to on-street parking, though drivers should use caution when driving on traversing speed cushions with vehicles parked on street. Drivers may need to yield to oncoming trafic 
A photo of a street with a set of three speed cushions installed across the travel lanes.

Speed Cushions installed on Robie Street