Geometric Design Guide for Canadian Roads 2017 Edition - What’s New?

A Cross-Canada Series

EVENT:  One-Day Seminar

The 2017 Edition of TAC’s Geometric Design Guide for Canadian Roads provides guidance to planners and designers in developing design solutions that meet the needs of a range of road users while addressing the context of policy decisions and the surrounding environment. Design guidelines are included for freeways, arterials, collectors, and local roads, in both urban and rural locations as well as for integrated bicyclist and pedestrian design.

This seminar provided an overview of the contents in the 2017 Guide with the focus on key changes to geometric design elements and processes provided in the Guide. It addressed critical aspects of the design process intended to provide participants with a solid understanding of those key changes as well as application and practices arising from the implementation of the 2017 Edition of the Geometric Design Guide for Canadian Roads.  


This seminar covered both the urban and rural design environments and included the following topics:

  • Design philosophy
  • Need to consider all road users
  • Considerations for urban versus rural context
  • Need for design flexibility
  • Design controls
  • Changes to stopping sight distance model
  • Resulting impacts on passing sight distance, vertical curve “k” values, and lateral clearance for stopping sight distance
  • Target speed
  • Roadside design
  • Changes to encroachment distances
  • Roadside design for low volume roads
  • Roadside design in constrained urban areas
  • The need for cost-effectiveness analysis
  • Changing barrier technologies
  • Barrier offset and zone of intrusion
  • Enhanced median barrier warrant discussion
  • Multi-modal configurations
  • Intersection design
  • Guidance on the accommodation of all road users
  • Rural versus urban design context
  • Design process
  • Railway crossings
  • Changes to the Intersection sight distance model
  • Innovative intersections
  • Roundabouts - basic principles
  • Bicycle integrated design
  • Bicycle design focus
  • Bicycle design needs
  • Facility types and selection
  • Alignment elements
  • Intersection elements
  • Pedestrian integrated design
  • Pedestrian design focus
  • Pedestrian design needs
  • Roadside zone
  • Crosswalks
  • Design elements
  • Design exceptions
  • Key criteria
  • Overview of  the process for design exceptions
  • Evaluating risk elements
  • Identifying mitigating measures
  • Importance of documentation
  • Human factors
  • Importance in roadway design
  • Driver expectancy
  • Perception reaction time
  • The design user – capabilities and limitations
  • Human factors and speed

Learning Objectives

  • Acquire knowledge about the new contents in the 2017 Guide
  • Understand key changes and processes in the Guide
  • Learn about design elements and processes in both urban and rural environments 
  • Understand application and practices arising from the implementation of the Guide   

Target Audience

  • Designers, traffic engineers, transportation engineers, project engineers, transportation planners, municipal managers and consulting engineers with a minimum of 3 years of experience in the field, since there is no discussion on fundamental concepts. 
  • Experienced designers will learn new ways of addressing and evaluating design options.


Geoff Millen, Regional Manager - Halifax, WSP Canada
Geoff has more than 24 years of experience in highway design and road safety engineering with WSP Canada. He currently serves as the Lead Road Safety Engineer for WSP’s national road safety engineering practice and was a co-author on several chapters of the 2017 edition of TAC’s Geometric Design Guide for Canadian Roads.

John Robinson, Senior Partner, Flood Murray International Inc.
Dr. Robinson is a Traffic and Transportation Systems Engineer with a 42-year career in the field. He brings an extensive body of proven expertise in road safety engineering to the company. John was a co-author of the roadside design and intersection chapters of the 2017 edition of TAC’s Geometric Design Guide for Canadian Roads.

Carl Clayton, Executive Vice-President, Stantec Consulting Ltd.
As the Business Leader for Stantec Consulting’s transportation business line, Carl manages the company’s road, transit, aviation, and non-motorized transportation activities throughout North America. He also leads the international regional operating unit and establishes priorities, implements the company’s strategic plan and vision, overall management and performance. Carl has more than 30 years of experience on projects around the world, including transportation planning studies, functional planning studies, and economic studies of transportation improvements, as well as planning, programming, design, and construction of a wide range of roadway, rail, and transit improvements.

Carl led the Stantec Consulting team, in a joint effort with WSP, to prepare the 2017 edition of the Geometric Design Guide for Canadian Roads. A noted speaker and author of numerous articles and technical guidelines, Carl has held leadership roles in several professional organizations. He is a registered professional engineer in Alberta, Arizona and Montana, as well as a professional traffic operations engineer.

Ryan Martinson, Associate, Stantec Consulting Ltd., Calgary
Ryan is a leader in the active and sustainable transportation industry and is passionate about creating stronger communities and better cities. He has been involved with important transportation projects including Edmonton’s Complete Streets Guidelines, Calgary’s Centre City Cycle Track Network, walkability technical reports and complete street planning and design projects. Ryan is a part of the Measuring Walking Group of Walk21, which documents and shares methods to capture walking and walkability data. This data is used to provide a higher emphasis on people travelling on foot, contributing to the creation of more livable communities.


Thank you to our Premier Sponsors