1. ATM Project Screening
Any neighbourhood traffic issue that cannot be resolved quickly through simple operational measures will be moved forward to be screened for an Area Traffic Management (ATM) study. There is significant demand for these studies and requests are prioritized and categorized into requiring either localized or comprehensive studies.
2. Screening Process
In order to ensure that the City's resources are concentrated on the most significant concerns, and to ensure that the number of projects is manageable in relation to program resources, requests will undergo an initial screening process involving two steps that must be satisfied before being considered for a potential Area Traffic Management (ATM) project. The screening process is used to concentrate resources on the most significant concerns, and to generate a manageable number of projects to carry forward for study and possible measure implementation.
Once a request is submitted by a neighbourhood or group, the assigned City staff will conduct a site visit and undertake the screening process. The first step in the screening process is the collection of data. Data will be collected by City staff in order to maintain consistency in data collection methods and the quality of the data. Collected data could include:
- Collision data – to determine the rate of collision on a segment of roadway or intersection and to identify if any of these collisions involved people cycling or walking. Typically, the most recently available three year's worth of collision data is used.
- Speed surveys – to determine operating speeds of people driving on the roadway. Specifically, the 85th and 95th percentile speeds are compiled and reviewed. The calculated 85th percentile speed is the speed at, or below, which 85 per cent of drivers travel. Speed data can be collected by automatic traffic recording devices or by manual spot speed surveys using a speed gun.
- Volume counts – to determine the average annual daily traffic volumes as well as the peak hour volumes on the roadway. Volume surveys can be conducted with:
- Automatic traffic recorders or intersection turning movement counters.
- Through traffic observations – to distinguish local traffic (with an origin or destination within the community)
- Inappropriate driver behaviour reports - to determine driver behaviour issues by reviewing traffic related complaints directed to the City through 3-1-1, calls to the Police for traffic enforcement, and traffic violations documented by provincial offence notices.
- Pedestrian facilities documentation – to determine the adequacy of existing pedestrian facilities such as the number and/or location of existing sidewalks
- Adjacent land use documentation – to identify the character and composition of the neighbourhood by the roadway's abutting land use including the identification of potential locations for vulnerable street users such as schools, parks and community centres. Land use categories include residential, commercial, industrial, and pedestrian oriented retail.
The next step in the screening process is to compare the collected data to the established criteria.
Passing the Screening Process - a request is considered to have passed the screening process if one of the following two conditions has been met:
- A serious collision on the roadway involving a person who is a vulnerable street user (i.e. pedestrian or cyclist) has occurred within the last three years.
- At least one of the Context Criteria and at least two of the Traffic Criteria have been met (see below for criteria details).
Context Criteria include:
- Locations for vulnerable street users such as parks, schools, community centres, childcare centres or seniors' residences
- Adjacent land use is primarily residential or pedestrian-oriented retail
- Pedestrian activities levels are not adequately served by current facilities such as sidewalks
Traffic Criteria include:
- Clear evidence of inappropriate driver behaviour characterized by a history of complaints and verified through enforcement efforts.
- Significant motorized vehicle speeds demonstrated by:
- 85th percentile speeds in excess of 50 km/h or
- 95th percentile speeds in excess of 60 km/h.
Note: calculations are adjusted for roadways where the posted speed limit is higher than 50 km/h.
- Significant average daily motorized traffic volumes demonstrated by:
- at least 1000 vehicles per day or 120 vehicles per peak hour, if the street is classified as a local roadway
- 2500 vehicles per day or 300 vehicles per peak hour, if the street is a collector roadway
- 5000 vehicles per day or 600 vehicles per peak hour, if the street is a major collector roadway.
Note: this criteria does not apply to arterial roadways
- Significant motorized vehicle through traffic volumes demonstrated by this type of traffic exceeding 20 per cent of the total traffic volume. Note that people driving to schools, daycare facilities or frequenting businesses on the roadway are not considered through traffic. In addition, this criteria does not apply to arterial roadways.
- Above the average rate of collisions for similar roadways involving people who drive, walk or cycle.
3. Submission of Request
If your traffic issue has passed the screening process, an application package will be forwarded to you. The package requires the following information to ensure that others on the street or in the area share the traffic concerns:
- Groups representing at least 10 households or businesses OR a minimum of 25 per cent of households/businesses on the affected street/area
- The Councillor of an affected ward
- The community association, school council, or business association for the area
If initial requests do not satisfy this requirement, they will be returned to the original requestor noting that broader support is required.
4. Categorize Projects
Projects will be categorized to ensure they are studied in the most appropriate manner. Projects are categorized as requiring either localized or comprehensive studies, with the latter considered being the more significant undertaking.
Staff will categorize a project as either localized or comprehensive study based on the identified concerns and the general criteria listed below.
- One or a couple of streets at most, are affected. A segment, rather than the entire length of the street, may be studied.
- The affected streets are local, collector or major collector
- There is a single, clearly defined problem with limited potential for expansion of the problem or study area
- There are few or mild competing interests
- The nature of the solution(s) can be reasonably anticipated
- The time and effort to conduct the project are expected to be limited
- A number of streets or an entire neighbourhood is affected
- Affected streets may include arterials
- There are a number of concerns, perhaps poorly-defined, with potential for expansion
- There are many or severe competing interests
- Possible solutions are numerous, or not apparent
- The time and effort to conduct the project are expected to be significant
5. Prioritization of Studies
New requests for studies will be prioritized against current and backlogged requests, identifying those that could be implemented within a few years. Note that the study list identifies priorities based on current demands, but is subject to change when councillors and/or members of the public bring new requests forward.
Both localized studies and comprehensive studies are ranked using the same criteria and the same types of data sources as described in the above-noted Screening Process. Data is evaluated and points are awarded which reflect the severity of each of the potential traffic issues. Arterial roads have a modified points system as the role of these roadways is to carry significant volumes of traffic and, therefore, points are not assigned for volume and through traffic criteria.
Because comprehensive studies will proceed independently of the localized studies, they will be prioritized separately. Often comprehensive studies involve evaluating more than one roadway when dealing with both screening and prioritizing the request and, as such, will recognize the roadway with the most severe traffic issues for ranking purposes. The highest ranking studies will be initiated first as resources are available.
The number of localized and comprehensive studies conducted will correspond with the resources available to conduct the planning phase and with the City's expected ability to fund the implementation of the studies approved measures.