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Dangerous Goods Route Selection Criteria


The movement of Dangerous Goods on the roads through a major city represents a challenge to transportation engineers, enforcement officers, and emergency response personnel. One of these challenges is the establishment of a Dangerous Goods Route network. Road safety is a key criterion in the effective selection of Dangerous Goods Routes. Incorporating safety in the designation of a Dangerous Goods Route Network will be demonstrated using the City of Calgary’s network as an example. A research project was conducted in 2003 by Hamilton-Finn for the Centre of Transportation Engineering and Planning (C-TEP) in cooperation with the City of Calgary, to: • Establish criteria for the selection of dangerous goods routes; • Review the adequacy of the current network; and • Identify changes and upgrades using a transparent and repeatable process. The criteria established for the selection of Dangerous Goods Routes can be equally applicable for other cities in Canada, with minor modifications for local conditions. The review included the latest research from Europe, Canada and the United States on Dangerous Goods roads transport, and particularly the research related to route selection criteria and methods. The City of Calgary’s existing Dangerous Goods road network was reviewed and discussed with City staff. The City’s requirements or expectations from an upgraded Dangerous Goods road network were established. A “what if” scenario analysis was also conducted, examining the alternatives when a designated Dangerous Goods route is blocked due to an emergency, and traffic needs to be diverted. A new set of criteria and decision support system were established to allow the City to select a logical Dangerous Goods route network using objective, transparent and repeatable measures. Some of the core safety criteria include: • Minimum crash frequency; • Insurance premium implications; and • Catastrophe minimization. A combination of these and several non-safety criteria form a practical decision support system for the City. An example of the application of the decision support system will be demonstrated. Using the new criteria and decision support system opportunities for changes or upgrades to the City’s existing Dangerous Goods network were identified. These included adding/deleting/confirming routes, and suggestions to physically upgrade existing roads to meet dangerous goods designation criteria.

Conference Paper Details

Session title:
Dilgir, R
Zein, S.R
Popoff, A
Finn, H
Road safety