Traffic Signals

Movement in and out of the City is dependent on a well-functioning transportation system. Traffic signals and signs are seen as the administrators of such a system, controlling the flow of people and goods through timing, coordination, and precision.

Our Engineering team maintains traffic signals across the City, including vehicle and pedestrian actuated traffic signals, pedestrian-controlled traffic signals, special crosswalks with flashing yellow lights, and pedestrian-activated rectangular flashing beacons.

Automation of Signals

The majority of traffic signals in the City are coordinated with one another to keep traffic flowing on our major streets. Coordination of traffic signals means that they all run the same cycle length and each signal assigns a ‘window’ for each direction of travel. This means that sometimes you may have to wait for your turn when arriving at a signal that's red, even if there isn’t any traffic right at that moment.

If you've arrived just as the ‘window’ for your green light has closed, you'll have to wait for the next cycle before your turn comes up. During peak periods such as the morning and evening rush hours, we try to keep this wait to a maximum of about a minute. Please don’t ‘rock’ your car back and forth over the sensors, as this can actually increase your wait time if you happen to drive off the sensor at the wrong time.

If you're a cyclist, most sensors are able to detect metal wheeled bicycles. Simply stop in a position where both wheels are over top of the in-road wires (as shown below).  Bicycles with carbon fibre wheels and/or spokes will not get detected. To solve this issue, some riders glue a small rare earth magnet to the bottom of their shoe and stop with the magnet on the in-road wire. If you know of a signal that's difficult to actuate, please let us know

By continually looking for ways to enhance the operation of our traffic signals along major corridors, the City aims to improve efficiency and reduce traffic congestion, especially during peak periods. 

If you notice something that you think needs improving, please email

Contact Info

Engineering, Parks and Environment Department
Tel: 604-983-7333
Online: Online Service Request Form

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