Slow streets

We get many requests for "slow streets" each year from residents who want traffic to slow down on their streets and who are concerned about the safety risks and the noise of fast cars.

There are a number of things we can do to reduce speed to make a street safer:

Request a slow street

Step 1.Make a request to Council

A petition requesting traffic calming is one of the ways to start the process. The petition should be signed by all the residents of the street in question and include their name, signature and whether or not they support the proposal.

Your request will be recorded and added to our list for consideration when budgets are set for the coming year.

Log a request to add traffic calming or safety assets

Step 2.Our priorities

Priority is determined by safety issues, the number of people wanting the work done and the number of years the funding is available.

Step 3.Traffic calming report

Once a street has been selected, a report is prepared to consider what is the most suitable traffic calming measure. Consideration is given to crashes, measured speed, the road's function, cyclist and pedestrian use.

Step 4.Consultation

Consultation follows with the residents regarding the type and location of the recommended measures.

Step 5.Works scheduled

After the consultation has been completed, the works are scheduled and completed during that financial year.

To reduce speed on a street we can do a number of things:


Islands that project out from each side street, making it narrower and creating a zig-zag effect that slows cars down.

Chicanes are suitable for residential streets and some smaller roads but not thoroughfares or main roads.

Speed humps and platforms

A narrow mound of seal across a road that causes cars to judder as they drive over.

Most cars will slow down for these and they are suitable for residential streets but not thoroughfares or main roads.

Traffic islands

Placing these in the middle of a road narrows the lanes and causes traffic to slow. These are suitable in a number of situations.

Flush median strips

Painted areas of road, usually painted in white with diagonal stripes. These also narrow the road, causing traffic to slow and are suitable for thoroughfares or main roads.

Partial road closures

Closing off the exit at one end (no exit roads) to prevent people from using it as a fast thoroughfares or main bypass street. This is suitable for some smaller roads.

Traffic calming can have some downsides: 

  • increased time for emergency services to get to call-outs
  • loss of on-street parking
  • slowing one street can mean fast or dangerous drivers transfer their anti-social driving to other streets. When we put in a slow street we are very conscious of this and monitor other streets to identify and deal with any negative flow-on effects.