Optimizing the roadway network and signal timings to reduce congestion and ease traffic flow has been the goal of transportation engineers since the advent of the traffic signal. The use of time-space diagrams and adaptive signal systems are some of the hallmark developments used to achieve this goal, however, they have either approached the issue from an infrastructure focus or assuming ideal conditions (e.g., drivers following the speed limit). Modern technology provides both the hardware and communications capabilities to begin integrating and approaching the issue from an end user’s perspective, the driver and vehicles themselves. As part of Transport Canada’s Program to Advance Connectivity and Automation in the Transportation System (ACATS), EcoDrive II examined how providing Connected Vehicle (CV) information to drivers could minimize speed variation, improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions as the driver approaches traffic signals. Building on FHWA research through the Applications for the Environment: Real-Time Information Synthesis (AERIS) program and European green-light optimized speed advisory (GLOSA) work, the concept is to provide the driver with a computed speed that would allow them to successfully pass through an upcoming signalized intersection during the green phase. As shown in Figure 1, there are four possible travel paths for a vehicle through a traffic signal network, where the dashed paths show conditions that can benefit from GLOSA. Using the information, the vehicle’s glide path can be optimized to reduce unnecessary fuel consumption if they maintain a speed that will not require them to stop. The project team involved Carleton University, Traffic Technologies Services (TTS), Thompson Technologies and the City of Ottawa Traffic Department, in addition to Transport Canada.
The City of Guelph has opened an industry leading new parking garage powered entirely by renewable energy sources, making it Guelph’s first energy self-sufficient and self-sustaining parking facility. This new facility supports the City of Guelph’s commitment to its corporate 100RE target through which all City facilities and operations will use 100 per cent renewable energy by 2050. The new garage has 496 stalls, EV charging, accessible stalls and secure bicycle parking. The facility is a Net Zero Energy site with over five hundred solar panels installed on the roof, generating nearly 240,000 kWh/year. As the first parking garage built in the City of Guelph in over thirty years, the new Market Parkade is positioned to address the emerging issues posed by climate change by depending entirely on renewable energy sources to power its EV charging stations, lights, security and parking access and revenue control equipment. The facility starts with four EV charging stations and has the infrastructure to expand to eighty EV charging stations as consumers’ usage patterns change. Moreover, the facility was built using the CANADACAR Parking Structure System: a pre-engineered, prefabricated building system that utilizes the most advanced, innovative technique of construction resulting in free span modular parking bays. The CANADACAR Parking Structure System offers the following benefits: cost efficient, reduced maintenance costs, driver/pedestrian safe, reduced construction time, increased longevity, greater flexibility and increased volume, all components in reducing the initial and ongoing carbon footprint of the facility and its operation.
The Wildlife Program of the British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (BCMOTI) is the cornerstone of wildlife protection on British Columbia highways. The program is responsible for highway-related wildlife protection initiatives for British Columbia’s wild indigenous and feral non-indigenous terrestrial species. These species range from small amphibians, like toads and frogs, to large ungulates, like wild horses, moose and bison. The program provides BCMOTI a single point of contact for all wildlife/highway-related issues, ranging from media inquiries to technology development. The program is instrumental in BCMOTI’s efforts to protect wildlife by raising road user awareness of wildlife, directing Ministry wildlife-vehicle collision reduction investments, and exploring potential solutions for wildlife-vehicle collisions. The Wildlife Program is a standalone program that draws upon the expertise of BCMOTI’s environmental, structural, electrical, geotechnical and traffic safety professionals, and a wide range of external wildlife professionals and academics. The program builds upon the experiences shared by other transportation agencies to develop, test and refine new concepts in wildlife protection. This approach expedites wildlife-related projects by integrating them quickly into existing infrastructure and operational practises. The program relies heavily on monitoring and data analysis for the strategic deployment of wildlife protection investments. With wildlife exclusion systems costing upwards of $750,000 per kilometre to build, and wildlife detection systems costing upwards of $2 million dollars each, the program focuses resources where they can be cost-effective.
T2 Utility Engineers (T2ue) is a firm believer in providing leadership within the Utility Engineering industry to integrate new technologies, identify innovative approaches, as well as educate about the core engineering, advantages and advances in our industry. Our staff is encouraged to be actively engaged with industry organizations to build awareness and help raise the bar for technical excellence, making a positive contribution across our industry. T2ue has been actively expanding awareness of the application of trenchless technologies as a result of our involvement with TAC. T2ue professionals hold leadership positions on multiple engineering societies, industry groups, and research institutions providing direction on guidance to help projects mitigate risk. Our participation in these groups has made an impact by integrating project technical experience and lessons learned into the development of industry standards. We are proud to be a founding and sustaining member of the Utility Engineering and Surveying Institute (UESI), whose mission is to advance the practice of Utility Engineering. One example of the impact T2ue has had on the trenchless industry is leading and developing seminars and education sessions recognizing trenchless as a key part of Utility Engineering and expanding awareness of the advantages of trenchless technologies. We have been actively involved and have led the Public Utilities Management Subcommittee (PUMS) of TAC since 2009. T2 Utility Engineers has continued to show commitment to educating and mentoring the next generation of Utility in the transportation world professionals, providing original content and short courses for the last 4 TRS meetings, both East and West. In addition, our teams continue to focus on educating about risk management though the ASCE 38 CSA S250 (TAC) Transportation Association of Canada Utility Relocation Coordination guidelines, for DBB, and the soon-to-be released P3 version. We also introduce professionals to Utility issues related to transportation to who may not attend or belong to TAC or other groups. For example, T2ue staff organized the Trenchless for Transit seminar, which was attended not only by TAC members, but also non-members, including surveyors, transportation engineers, utilities, damage prevention firms, and others. These types of networking events provide extensive value and support for the growth of TAC.
Ontario Good Roads Association (OGRA) has been offering courses on the construction and maintenance of Ontario highways, roads, bridges, and related infrastructure for 119 years. Technology has changed dramatically since the first course was delivered in Gananoque in 1901, where some of the challenges included a scarcity of workers and water, and the horses being frightened by noisy machinery (Ontario Good Roads Association, 1994, p.14). OGRA’s Bridge and Culvert Management course was first offered in 1980 as part of the C.S. Anderson Road School, delivered annually at the University of Guelph campus. Over the past 20 years the course has trained approximately 860 students. Based on an analysis of students who attended the course in 2018 and 2019, 41.5% of the class are public works supervisors (this includes lead hands and fore persons) and 38.5% are operators including drivers, workers, labourers. Instructors use the Bridge Inspection & Maintenance instructional video during this course, but after 25 years the video is now dated. The revised video has seven modules: 1. Introduction & Bridge Composition; 2. Bridge Components; 3. Material Defects; 4. Safety; 5. Routine Inspections; 6. Routine Maintenance; 7. Consequences of Neglect.
The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (ministry) believes that our employees are our most important strength. The ministry takes pride in its excellent quality of people and in producing excellent results. The Engineering and Geoscientist In Training (EIT/GIT) Program (program) leverages this diverse talent, supporting the ongoing growth and development of our employees and engineering professionals in the industry to establish and maintain a fully integrated transportation system that advances environmental, economic and social objectives, and moves goods and people safely within British Columbia and to markets beyond. Not unlike other organizations in the industry, the ministry is facing demographic changes including retirement rates of senior leaders and professionals in engineering services. This program puts a focus on recruitment and retention, and demonstrates best practices for knowledge management and leadership development. The program strategically considers forecasted vacancies and attrition within the engineering field and supports the growth and development of qualified professional engineers and geoscientists, builds leaders in the engineering field who become mentors and supervisors for new EITs/GITs, and senior leaders within the ministry.
Together, the BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (Ministry) and its highway maintenance contractors maintain the integrity and safety of more than 47,500 kilometers of highway and 2,800 road structures throughout the province. Since privatizing highway maintenance in 1988, the Ministry has selected, through a comprehensive tender process, highway maintenance contractors who provide services through long-term (10 year) agreements in all 28 service areas across the province. The value of the highway maintenance agreements totals approximately $400 million a year. Since privatizing this work, the Ministry has evolved its highway maintenance agreement from a prescriptive approach, which specified how maintenance contractors should carry out their work, to a performance-based approach that focuses on measuring outcomes and encouraging innovation. The Ministry’s emphasis on overseeing results vs managing methods requires more discretion and autonomy on the part of highway maintenance contractors in fulfilling the agreement specifications. It also requires both Ministry and contractors to have a common understanding of the agreement requirements and a high level of trust and collaboration between both parties. In 2018 and 2019, the Ministry rolled out its new 2018/2019 Highway Maintenance Contract, awarding agreements to contractors in 26 of the 28 service areas. Agreements for the two remaining service areas will be awarded in 2021 and 2023. The Ministry recognized that it would be critical for Ministry staff and maintenance contractors to be aligned and working well together if the agreements are to be successful. Because of that, the Ministry took the unprecedented step to develop and deliver specialized training for Ministry staff and maintenance contractors designed to build their knowledge and skills for fulfilling their roles, develop a common understanding of the agreement and establish positive working relationships from the start of the contract.
The COVID-19 pandemic is an urgent public health crisis that has impacted virtually all aspects of daily life, including front-line emergency services, housing, businesses, and municipal finance, among many others. Mobility patterns around the world shifted dramatically at the onset of the pandemic, with motor vehicle and transit use experiencing sudden and significant declines in cities around the world as people reduced their movements, along with increased demand for active transportation for essential errands and exercise. Due to COVID-19’s ability to spread through close personal contact, physical distancing proved to be one of the most effective ways to reduce the spread of the illness. This presented an immediate challenge for mobility and the need to provide safe spaces in the public realm while ensuring physical and mental health, safety, well-being, and resiliency of our communities and citizens. Four key mobility challenges emerged as a result of the pandemic, including the need to create spaces to move, create spaces to wait, provided connected active transportation infrastructure, and providing space for outdoor exercise. A number of specific issues were identified for each of these challenges, including narrow sidewalks, pathways, and bicycle facilities; accessibility challenges; crowding and queuing outside essential businesses and services; a lack of complete and connected active transportation facilities; and a limited number of parks and public spaces in many neighbourhoods. The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) responded to this challenge through the rapid creation of innovative design guidelines – the COVID-19 Street Rebalancing Guide – to provide critically needed guidance to municipalities across the country. The guide, developed by Urban Systems for FCM, is designed for decision-makers and practitioners alike and was developed based on national and international best practices. It shares strategies and treatments – from pop-up bike lanes and curbside queuing areas to temporary patios and parklets – based on case studies that have emerged from around the world. The guide also provides valuable guidance for municipalities looking to rebalance streets to enable physically distant active transportation, while also supporting safe commuting, commerce, recreation, and exercise.
The Smart Freight Centre (SFC) is a centre of excellence for goods movement. It has been established as a five-year collaborative network with McMaster University, University of Toronto, York University, Ryerson University, Transport Canada and the Region of Peel. The SFC will comprise of members from both the public and private sectors and will provide expertise, guidance and resources for safe and efficient movement of goods and people to allow for innovative solutions to real-world problems. The SFC works with its partners on regionally significant goods movement issues and projects in Ontario; however, as goods movement solutions cannot be addressed in isolation but require greater partnerships and collaborations, its research is not bounded by geographical boundaries. The SFC addresses issues that affect Canada, USA, and the global community to improve goods movement and reduce adverse environmental impacts across the world. The success of the SFC will go a long way in establishing safe, efficient and sustainable goods movement in Canada and worldwide, thus improving business economic vibrancy and residents’ quality of life.
The Clark Avenue Multi-Modal Transportation Corridor Retrofit Project has become a catalyst for high-quality, active, and multi-modal transportation projects in the City of Vaughan. Spanning 4.5 kilometres, the project supports an evolving City with upgraded and cost-effective transportation infrastructure, including: 8,500m of pedestrian and accessibility improvements; 4.5kms of in-boulevard cycling facilities, the City’s first retrofit cycle tracks; Intersection and transit stop improvements at 3 locations to accommodate the potential future expansion of bus rapid transit along Clark Avenue. The project scope also included transit stop upgrades at 29 other locations (on behalf of York Region and York Region Transit); 16 signalized intersection and 12 stop-controlled intersection/commercial entrance operational improvements; 80,000 m2 pavement rehabilitation; and 1 culvert remediation.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, it radically altered the way people gathered, interacted and moved. Bustling sidewalks became deserted, streets typically filled with cars fell silent, and delivery drivers were seemingly the only people on local shopping streets. Later in the spring, as initial lockdowns were lifted, COVID-19 clearly remained the most serious and pressing public health issue. However, social isolation and limited public space to move and gather safely also emerged as new, critical challenges. And these challenges were impacting seniors, low-income earners and other vulnerable and marginalized communities particularly hard. People needed space to socialize safely, space to queue, space to commute and space to exercise. In light of these challenges, expanding access to public space became vital. Recognizing this, the City of New Westminster Council passed the Streets for People in 2020 motion in May to respond in a bold way to the critical need for more abundant and accessible spaces to support walking, active transportation, and safe public gatherings. Multiple City departments, including Transportation, Engineering Operations, Parks & Open Space, Economic Development and Public Engagement, worked in partnership with consultants Happy City, HUB Cycling and MPE, to deliver this project quickly and compassionately. The result was an impactful, innovative and highly transferable project.
Completed in December 2020, the Keddy Access Trail is a 2.1 km multi-use facility that connects the Lower City and escarpment neighbourhoods in the heart of Hamilton. Including four side connections, the total length of the project is 2.7 km. The project was completed in combination with a major resurfacing project of the upbound lanes. In the early days of planning, it was determined that one of the three upbound lanes could be re-purposed to achieve a fully separated 3.0-4.0 m pathway and achieve a long-standing aspiration to create a high-quality pedestrian and cycling connection between the lower and upper city. Over the course of five years, the project moved from an idea to a reality. A key feature of the project is that it is not just a linear connection, but also has multi-modal connections to different neighbourhoods as it traverses between the lower and upper city. Connections comprise multiple parks, enclave neighbourhoods, the Hamilton Centre GO Rail Station, two regional hospitals, and the famous Bruce Trail. It is estimated that these connections will more than double usage, and some are attractions in their own right.
With a quarter-million people, the City of Burnaby is the third-largest city in Metro Vancouver. Development in the City is focused in four Town Centres: higher-density, mixed-use neighbourhoods served by rapid transit. The City has developed new public realm standards for these four neighbourhoods. The standards integrate many features to enhance active transportation, livability, accessibility, sustainability and beauty. The genesis for the standards was in 2010 when Council increased the allowable residential density in Burnaby’s four Town Centres, while also seeking “additional community amenities to support and service residents and businesses” and provide enhanced livability. A five-year in-house process saw the creation, testing and refinement of the new public realm standards, leading to their formal adoption (at a conceptual level) in 2015. The City then hired a team led by Parsons to prepare standard design drawings for consistent application, and further refine the designs for improved quality and ease of implementation. The package of standard design drawings was completed in 2020. A high-quality public realm is essential to achieving an attractive neighbourhood experienced at the human scale. It can encourage people to use sustainable transportation modes by offering improved connections between places, and making those connections into memorable spaces themselves. It can nurture community by providing gathering spaces that are appealing and functional. The public realm plays an important role in enhancing the quality of life in a community, which, in turn, can improve its desirability as a place to live, work and play. To achieve these benefits, Burnaby Town Centre Standards outlines a comprehensive and strategic approach to how the public realm is developed, enhanced and maintained.
Given their central role in global supply chains, ports are instruments of national trade. With a significant gross domestic product (GDP) linked to foreign trade, Canada is a country whose economy relies heavily on international trade, supported by a complex national logistics network, where ports play a gateway role. The Port of Montreal’s position is strategic and benefits the entire Canadian economy. To meet growing demand, the Montreal Port Authority (MPA) will develop a new suburban terminal by expanding the Contrecoup port terminal to handle 1.15 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) per year. When the terminal reaches its full capacity, two ships will be able to dock at the same time, one to two trains per day will use the national rail system in eastern Canada, and 1,200 trucks will transit through it on a daily basis. SNC-Lavalin’s Environment team was mandated to carry out the environmental and social impacts assessment (ESIA) of the project and advise the MPA in the development of alternatives and measures that will address the environmental problem. An analysis of the environmental effects, sources of impacts, prevention, mitigation and compensation measures was carried out for the physical, biological and human environment, thus minimizing the impact on the quality and value of ecological components. Some 50 professionals and leading experts worked on such topics as atmospheric dispersion modelling, the noise environment, the project’s effects on container trucking, and rail and marine traffic. This project demonstrates the importance of environmental impact assessments and how they contribute to environmental protection and improvement. An environmental and social management plan was established to prevent and mitigate environmental and social impacts. A report of all mitigation measures and commitments is a reminder of how the MPA plans to carry out the project. The main sources of impact, the various mitigation measures and commitments are grouped by type of environment, valued component, and project phase.
The City of Toronto welcomes approximately 90 new waste collection drivers each year who are assigned to drive and operate a variety of waste collection equipment. Due to Toronto’s urban landscape, drivers must learn to navigate the narrow streets, laneways, parks, and various obstacles on the shared roadways. While drivers are required to have a D-Z licence, they may not have experience with highly specialized waste collection vehicles, making job specific training crucial to ensure the safety of our employees and the public. In 2019, the City’s Solid Waste Management Services and Fleet Services Divisions launched a refreshed on-boarding program for waste collection drivers that focuses on behaviour modeling, substantial practice, and dialogue, a combination shown to be highly effective in health and safety training. A new, specialized training site was opened in 2020, the Keele Valley Driver Training Facility, which hosts both in-class and hands-on training in a controlled environment, safely removed from pedestrians or other vehicles. The classroom component of the training program includes presentation and discussion style instruction as well as small group learning sessions. New waste collection drivers complete health and safety orientation courses, learn safe working procedures, are trained on job-specific hazards, and are instructed in safe road use and operations. The on-road training includes pre- and post- trip inspections, backing-up, stopping, bike lanes, turning, bin handling, fueling, unloading, and handling road hazards. During this training, new hires are assessed by peer–to-peer mentors and are required to demonstrate their knowledge and skills before they are deemed competent to start their on-the-job training. Over eight weeks, drivers are evaluated on their competency and only then provided additional training for more complex vehicle equipment. This graduated approach ensures that staff demonstrate their ability to drive and operate the complex equipment on the vehicle. At the end of the training period, drivers are assessed to demonstrate proof of competency in the safe operation of equipment.
Identifying potential road safety problems before they result in serious outcomes is vital for road safety programs. Serious near-miss events (traffic conflicts) take place on roads every day. These events are considered collision precursors, since they contain most of the same necessary ingredients that are required for a collision to unfold. By looking at the complete profile of road user behaviour alongside past collision data, future collision events can be forecasted with a high degree of accuracy. Video-based traffic safety solutions, particularly surrogate safety methods such as those delivered by Transoft Solutions’ BriskLUMINA and BriskVANTAGE offerings, rapidly track and classify all individual road users to automatically detect near-misses and other safety related events indicative of potential collisions. Transoft Solutions, together with our engineering-consulting firm partners, have worked together to provide road safety diagnosis and analysis, countermeasure recommendations, and safety effectiveness evaluations using video-based surrogate safety techniques at over 100 sites across Canada.
As part of the development of the Road Safety Plan, Toronto has identified pedestrian head start signals, also known as Leading Pedestrian Intervals (LPI), as one of the key countermeasures to address left turn collisions with pedestrians. LPI is a safety countermeasure that can be implemented at a traffic signal in order to provide pedestrians with the opportunity to begin crossing the street before vehicles are permitted to proceed. This is achieved by giving the pedestrian the walk sign to begin their crossing movement but delaying the corresponding vehicle green signal in the same direction by an amount of time determined based on intersection geometry. This allows pedestrians to establish a presence in the crosswalk before drivers begin making turning movements, thereby enhancing their visibility to drivers and reinforcing pedestrians' right-of-way over turning vehicles. Because of the demonstrated safety benefits, and the relative ease and low cost of implementation, Vision Zero 2.0 called for wide-scale systemic application of LPI for addressing collisions between left-turning vehicles and pedestrians at intersections. The report committed to consider LPI as a default feature for all signals, only making exceptions in selective cases. With this commitment, the goal is to implement LPI at a significant majority of the City's intersections. This represents a bold commitment from the City and sends a clear message that Toronto is a leader in promoting road safety for all road users, even at the possible expense of added vehicle delay. In addition to LPI, the City also continues to develop programs to deliver other planned safety measures to address turning movements at intersections, including: the strategic application of right-turn-on-red prohibitions, developing guidelines for fully-protected turn phases, and conducting a left-turn calming pilot program.
The Transportation department and the City of Saskatoon are committed to providing a safe and healthy work environment for our employees. Safety is the first consideration in everything we do and we continually work to ensure that procedures and policies are in place that meet or exceed the provincial OHS legislation as well as industry best practices. Setting detours and work zones are very unique, challenging and high risk work that requires incredible discipline, focus and planning to enter into uncontrolled environments that potentially could cause a fatality. Eliminating `boots on the ground' has significantly reduced the potential for serious injuries or fatalities. While public education can help keep road workers safe, workers are risking their lives more and more as traffic and construction work increases each year. In 2017, the City of Saskatoon was looking into additional ways to keep people safe and began researching different traffic control vehicles. Soon after was discovered a uniquely redesigned traffic unit in the United Kingdom. Inspired by that vehicle, crews started work on redesigning the City’s own 10-year old detour truck, with many staff members providing input and layout along the way. In summer of 2020, efforts paid off and drivers in Saskatoon saw some unique vehicles and detour materials hit the roads as the City enhanced the way it set up its own work zones and traffic detours on high speed roads.
We are pleased to nominate the City of Richmond’s “Road Safety Improvement Program: Top 20 Collision-Prone Locations” for the 2021 Transportation Association of Canada (TAC) Road Safety Engineering Award based on the following rationale: In-depth data-driven technical analysis based on industry recognized methodology published by TAC; Holistic review of all 1,617 intersections in the city to objectively identify locations with the highest risk of collisions and develop mitigation measures; Concrete action plan, with new and dedicated City funding towards the implementation of the safety improvement program ($4.66M committed to date, approximately $16M proposed in the 2021-2025 five-year capital cycle); Update of City’s road design principles (e.g., elimination of right-turn channelization, revised curb return radii requirements, road dieting, etc.) that influence all new road projects to enhance safety for all users including pedestrians and cyclists; Establishment of an on-going monitoring program to gauge the effectiveness of the safety improvements; Strengthening of the City’s relationship with other government agencies, stakeholders and the public; Creation of a concise two-page intersection safety report for each of the top 20 collision-prone locations that employs a simple, transparent and visually appealing format using non-technical language for public dissemination; Presentation of project findings at the 2020 TAC Conference & Exhibition on October 2, 2020; Receipt of the 2020 Mavis Johnson Award for road safety project of the year, which is sponsored by the Institute of Transportation Engineers - Greater Vancouver Section; and Feature presentation on Insurance Corporation of BC (ICBC) social media as part of its January 2021 Road Improvement Project Promotion.
In August 2014, City of Hamilton Council approved the creation of the Hamilton Strategic Road Safety program. This program was created as a result of an identified trend in Total collisions increasing by 400 per year and an increase of 90 fatal/injury collisions per year. Utilizing 2012 as the base year, it was projected that by 2022, total collisions would increase by 75% to 11,295 collisions and fatal/injury collisions would increase 71% to 2,575 collisions. In order to address the growing concern of motor vehicle collisions and the impacts collisions have on the residents of Hamilton, the city began a “quick win” road safety campaign. As part of this, the goal was to identify initiatives that could be implemented quickly, cost effective and raise awareness to the road safety in Hamilton. The City of Hamilton began an aggressive campaign installing painted ladder crosswalks, extended pedestrian crossing times from 1.2m to 0.7m/sec, curb extensions using knock down sticks, installation of portable speed humps, developed new plans on Pedestrian Mobility and Traffic Calming and developed various education/marketing campaigns. Despite the implementation of various initiatives, injury collisions continued to increase in 2014 and 2015. In 2016 City Council directed staff to investigate the feasibility of implementing Vision Zero in the City of Hamilton. Between 2017-2019, the City of Hamilton continued to implement and develop new programs, tools, to assist in raising awareness around roadway safety. As a result of these various programs and initiatives, the City of Hamilton experienced a decreasing trend in injury-based collisions from 2015-2019. The number of fatal and injury collisions in the City of Hamilton decreased by 26.7% over the 5-year period of 2015-2019 and a 40% reduction when compared to the projected numbers.