Presented below are answers to a number of frequently asked questions (FAQs) about roads and transportation in Whitby.
What are the speed limits in the Town of Whitby?
The speed limit within the Town of Whitby is 50 km/h unless otherwise posted. Motorists are responsible for familiarizing themselves with the posted speed limits on public roadways. The Town's practice is to reduce speeds adjacent to all elementary schools to 40 km/h. Elementary schools create significant interaction between motor vehicles and young children. The reduced speed zone assists with avoiding potential conflicts between these two road users.
Where are crosswalks installed in the Town of Whitby?
Within the Town of Whitby, painted crosswalks may be installed at controlled intersections/locations where stop signs, traffic signals, and/or crossing guards are present. Many studies have been conducted throughout North America that do not support the use marked, uncontrolled crosswalks, as pedestrians may feel that they have the right-of-way over vehicular traffic and step onto the road when it is unsafe to do so.
An uncontrolled crossing is a crossing that does not have any traffic control measure to provide a dedicated pedestrian right-of-way. Pedestrians must wait for a safe gap to fully cross the roadway.
Does the Town of Whitby install speed bumps on public roads?
No, speed bumps do not necessarily result in motorists reducing speeds. That is, motorists tend to reduce speed at the speed bump only, and then speed up to make up for lost time. In addition, response times by Emergency Services are reduced by speed bumps and therefore they are not supported.
Where are all-way stop signs installed?
The criteria for determining where all-way stop signs are warranted is set by Provincial guidelines. The criteria takes into account the volumes of all vehicles and pedestrians at the subject location on an average weekday. It is important to note that the purpose of a stop sign is to clearly and efficiently assign right-of-way between vehicles approaching an intersection. Stop signs are not intended to be used as speed control devices. Unwarranted stop signs may lead to non-adherence by motorists, thus creating safety concerns with opposing vehicles and/or pedestrians.
How do I request a crossing guard at a particular location?
Requests for school crossing guards are only received by the Town of Whitby from the applicable School Board. Please contact your local school with your request. Once the request is received from the School Board, Town Staff will investigate and advise the School Board of the findings. The need for a crossing guard is based on the number of children crossing the intersection, as well as the design of the roadway and vehicular travel speed.
Can I get a Radar Message Board on my street?
If you are concerned about vehicles exceeding the speed limit on your street, a Radar Message Board (RMB) may be requested to provide immediate vehicle speed feedback to drivers. The RMB is a portable radar unit that combines a radar antenna and a large display board. The unit is completely safe, and easy to set up and operate. It can be used on two-lane local roads that have residential frontages and a speed limit of 50 km/h or less. The RMB can be requested by contacting Durham Regional Police Services .
Where are "children playing" signs installed in the Town of Whitby?
"Playground Area " signs are installed on all approaches to developed playground areas in the Town of Whitby. A "developed playground" is defined as any area where either playground equipment has been installed or there is an appropriate area where children could be expected to engage in playground activities or sporting events. There is no regulation signage for "children playing" and residents often assume the playground sign is for children playing.
"Children playing" signs would convey a confusing message to motorists and children. Motorists are generally familiar with the residential street characteristics, including the presence of children in residential areas. These signs tend to convey the message to the motorist that children are present only where signs are installed; however, children cross residential streets at many locations. Studies show that devices attempting to warn motorists of "normal" conditions that are not always present fail to achieve the desired safety benefits. "Children playing" signs would also send the wrong message to children by encouraging them to play within the streets' travel ways. This behaviour should be discouraged by parents as any interaction between children and automobiles can result in serious consequences.
What is ROAD WATCH?
ROAD WATCH is a community-based, traffic safety initiative that enables individuals to confidentially report incidents of unsafe or aggressive driving. For more information, please review our ROAD WATCH Program page.
Can trucks be restricted from using my road?
For certain roads within the Town of Whitby, there is a restriction that prohibits vehicles with a gross weight, including the vehicle, object or contrivance and load, in excess of five (5) tonnes (as defined in Town of Whitby By-law No. 1862-85) from travelling through the area to reach a destination outside the restricted area.
Exemptions from this restriction include:
- Light trucks (less than 5 tonnes) such as delivery type vans, heavy duty pick-ups, short haul delivery trucks, dump trucks, etc.
- Heavy trucks making deliveries within the restricted area
- Emergency service vehicles, public utility emergency vehicles, and vehicles engaged in works undertaken for or on behalf of the Town
What is the difference between a local, collector, and arterial road?
Traffic engineers commonly differentiate between roads based on their characteristics. For local roads, the primary consideration is land access and traffic movement is a secondary consideration. Local roads typically have daily traffic volumes of fewer than 1,000 vehicles. For collector roads, traffic movement and land access are of equal importance. The daily traffic volume is fewer than 8,000 vehicles. For arterial roads, traffic flow is the primary consideration and land use is a secondary consideration. The traffic volume per day is typically fewer than 20,000 vehicles.