Knowledge CentreTechnical Resources SearchConference PapersNEIGHBOURHOOD TRAFFIC PLANS – A PLANNING APPROVALS PROCESS



Canadian municipalities are recognizing the merits of conducting formal traffic management reviews of proposed development plans to avert potential traffic calming concerns, particularly during the planning process. Traditionally, traffic impact assessment of development has focused primarily on travel forecasting, traffic assignment and capacity analysis. Through wise application of traffic engineering principles in subdivision planning, traffic calming measures can either be avoided or introduced in a variety of ways that don’t create regrettable operating conditions or costly precedents. In the year 2000, staff of two municipalities in the west of the Greater Toronto Area separately resolved to systematically troubleshoot development plans to prevent or mitigate potential transportation operational impacts from being built into development. They recognized that draft planning of subdivisions was lacking in traffic planning and impact assessment reporting while servicing studies and storm water management planning was well established. Recognizing the different technical complexities and planning requirements associated with the various stages of development approval, a two-tiered traffic management review process was developed. The first level of review established the planning principles that, where possible, preclude the need for traffic calming Performing the transportation review is critical to ensuring that the future operating conditions on roadways in the plan and on adjacent streets are predictable and acceptable. This level of review has the greatest influence on future traffic safety. In some jurisdictions the required documentation is referred to as a Safety Impact Study (SIS). The documentation provided at the draft plan and at the engineering drawing stage is comprised of a Traffic Management Plan (TMP) and report documentation for the development. The benefit of a traffic planning review is that, if required, all traffic management measures can be designed and in place as a community is built. In this way, the prospective homeowners are apprized of the proposed traffic measures that are necessary to ensure desired operating conditions in their community. Residents can be assured that the street system has been thoroughly checked to avoid potential operating deficiencies. The development review guidelines herein place an emphasis on traffic equal to servicing studies, stormwater studies and noise studies to achieve a balanced assessment of all planning criteria. This is not a ‘recipe’ for how to prepare a subdivision plan so that traffic safety and efficiency are maximized. Instead, the document guides staff and proponents to principles and considerations that are essential when developing modern street systems. It is assumed that proponents have knowledge of standards and how to apply them specific to each site. Other municipalities using this document have found it convenient to separate the review checklists from the report to be used as stand-alone references for day-to-day use by staff. In this way, implementation of the recommended planning and design principles can be tracked throughout the review process. The checklists are also designed to aid staff in replying to consultants’ submissions. In almost all cases, the first submission of the traffic management plan will identify the major traffic planning issues that need to be discussed and addressed in subsequent submissions.

Conference Paper Details

Session title:
Lenters, M