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Upcoming Topics of Discussion at TAC’s Spring Technical Meetings

Thursday, February 22, 2018

The Transportation Association of Canada (TAC)’s councils, committees and task forces will meet soon at the 2018 Spring Technical Meetings.

Topics of discussion are expected to include a number of shared issues and priorities, aligned with the Association’s focus areas. They’ll also include updates on a number of current projects and initiatives. 

SAFETY

Safety in Canada’s transportation network is a priority for TAC and its members. TAC’s Road Safety Standing Committee (RSSC) raises awareness of road safety issues among the TAC membership. The RSSC also promotes safety-conscious road engineering and operations.

A volunteer project seeking funding will launch a scoping study of the Canadian Road Safety Engineering Handbook. The Handbook will identify, define and share best practices in road safety engineering to address road safety issues.

Work is underway to examine safety performance of bicycle infrastructure in Canada. The Project Steering Committee of this initiative is aiming to complete the report by fall 2019 with the help of MORR Consulting Ltd. Project objectives and a list of funding partners are posted on TAC’s website.      

The Chief Engineers’ Council (CEC) has approved a new edition of the Pedestrian Crossing Control Guide recommended by the Traffic Operations and Management Standing Committee (TOMSC). The new edition includes a warrant system and guidance for implementing rectangular rapid flashing beacons, considerations for specific environments, geometric design components for enhancing pedestrian crossing locations, and updates to the preliminary assessment methodology and treatment selection matrix.

Last fall, councils and committees discussed initiatives for vision zero accidents, an approach to implementing strategies that reduce injuries and deaths of road users. 

La Ville de Montréal reported on their vision zero initiatives: the implementation of 30 km/h speed limits in residential neighbourhoods and school zones, and 40 km/h limits on the city’s central arterials. The City of Vancouver shared its action plan for zero traffic-related fatalities as per the Transportation 2040 Plan.   

MOBILITY

TAC members recognize the importance of mobility as a service, for both goods and people. Integrated multi-modal transportation as mobility continues to be a focus of discussion for the Urban Transportation Council (UTC) and its standing committees. 

The UTC will host a session on improving cycling infrastructure at the 2018 TAC Conference in Saskatoon, and one on emerging issues in urban transportation to discuss how mobility can solve transit’s first and last mile challenge.     

A volunteer project is currently underway to improve the understanding of challenges involved in public engagement for sustainable transportation projects.

A project to identify gaps and provide recommendations for better integrating health and transportation is in progress. The goal of the project is to bring a scientific understanding to related issues and shift towards health-promoting transportation systems and environments. Funding partners for the project include both transportation and health departments.

TAC’s Joint Active Transportation Subcommittee raises awareness of the importance of active transportation and related issues within the Association’s councils, committees and membership. 

Some member jurisdictions are extending existing active transportation networks or developing new ones to encourage the use of cycling in their communities. 

Examples include:

  • Separated bicycle lane pilot in the Region of Waterloo;
  • A cycle tracks project in the City of Calgary; and
  • Expanding bike-sharing services in the City of Toronto.  

INFRASTRUCTURE AND ASSET MANAGEMENT   

The federal government is investing in infrastructure, with funding to be delivered through mechanisms including bilateral agreements with the provinces and territories, merit-based programs, and the Canada Infrastructure Bank.

Last fall, the CEC and the UTC discussed transportation infrastructure funding and methodologies to evaluate and prioritize investments while optimizing performance outcomes. A joint project was recommended to help public agencies improve the evaluation of investments and decision making practices. The final report will include current practices/lessons learned, and a toolkit containing examples of performance-based decision making processes. The Small Municipalities Task Force (SMTF) is also sharing approaches and practices for prioritizing investments in transportation infrastructure.

TAC councils and committees are working on a variety of other projects, including ones on pothole repair practices, practices for evaluating soil and material stabilization products, developing new signs for the Sixth Edition of the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Canada, geometric design for special roads, use of warm mix asphalt, road cuts and coring, as well as pavement preservation practices.        

For more on asset management:

Check back in the coming weeks for more information about issues, priorities and projects to be discussed by TAC’s committees this spring.