New forms of mobility are transforming the transportation landscape globally. As the landscape evolves, it will become increasingly viable for travellers to meet most of their mobility needs through purchasing rides or seats, instead of the traditional purchasing of vehicles. The concept of selling mobility rather than vehicles is experiencing renewed interest, in part due to recent developments in digital technology that allow for greater levels of personalization and integration across multiple transport services. Noting this incipient trend in traveller attitudes and behaviour, government agencies have the opportunity to assess options for participation before the transition matures (Smith et al., 2019). The objective of this paper is to help governments define their role(s) as it pertains to Mobility as a Service (MaaS), the term used to describe an integrated platform for payment, multi-modal trip planning, and price bundling.
The County of Essex is pleased to have been accepted as one of five finalists for the 2020 TAC Sustainable Urban Transportation Award for the County Road 20 One-Way Cycle Track project. The following application highlights the partnerships, timeline and components that went into completing this sustainable active transportation facility. Through the efforts of robust collaborations between multi-tiered government organizations, community partners and the public, this initiative provides an innovative sustainable urban transportation solution for a range of active transportation users. In 2019, the County of Essex completed the construction of this six-kilometer One-Way Cycle Track along County Road 20 through the municipalities of Kingsville and Leamington. This raised cycle track is a bicycle facility adjacent to and vertically separated from the roadway. It is designated for exclusive use by cyclists and provides cyclists the ability to travel in each direction to ensure continuity and connectivity. This project highlights sustainable urban transportation through the transformation of a corridor to allow for multi-modal transportation. This facility formed part of the regional County Wide Active Transportation System (CWATS). The County of Essex has developed a comprehensive Active Transportation Master Plan to guide the County and local area municipalities in implementing a regional network of cycling and pedestrian facilities spanning some 800 km, over the next 20+ years. The County of Essex has partnered with seven local municipalities, Essex Region Conservation Authority, Windsor-Essex County Health Unit, Ministry of Transportation of Ontario and neighbouring municipalities of Chatham-Kent and City of Windsor to create and build a cycling and pedestrian network that improves lives and unites communities. This One-Way Cycle Track project was supported by all of the partners through this system. CWATS was introduced in 2012 to promote healthy, active and sustainable lifestyles and recognizes the importance that connected trails can play in supporting both tourism and residential development. CWATS developed a Master Plan includes planning, design and operation guidelines to support an active transportation network along with supporting policies, programs and outreach initiatives. Infrastructure as part of the regional CWATS network is identified and implemented through formal consultation with the CWATS steering committee comprised of its partners. All infrastructure built through the CWATS initiative follows a phased detailed process.
In line with the City of Ottawa Complete Streets policy, many streets have recently been upgraded. But demand for safe, traffic calmed road designs that serve all users is high and resources are limited. As such, the City has established a set of Traffic Calming Design Guidelines to help streamline the consideration of these improvements as part of all street retrofits, renewal projects, and new construction – not just targeted traffic calming initiatives. The design guidelines delve into specifics on common conundrums cities face when considering the integration of speed management design from the outset or retroactive traffic calming. How much can you narrow the road? What streets can you consider for speed humps? How do you balance emergency services and road maintenance needs? These are just some of the questions the guidelines help answer, making it easier to have traffic calming be a regular part of all street design discussions with or without the help of traffic calming specialists.
Nanaimo has been developing its Complete Street Design Guideline while in parallel putting it into practice on the Metral Drive corridor, showcasing sustainable urban transportation design in the City. The guidelines set a high bar for all future street design, reallocating the right-of-way in an equitable manner and managing conflicts safely. The immediate implementation of the guidelines on Metral Drive will demonstrate how such designs can contribute to community wellbeing by providing a safe environment that enables people to choose active and healthier travel options while also enhancing the streetscape. Metral Drive currently has varying levels of pedestrian provision from sidewalks to gravel shoulders, and cycling provision from none to narrow painted shoulders. Provision is inconsistent and not conducive to attracting people out of their cars. Using the guidelines to develop the Metral Drive detailed design, the City will provide people, regardless of their age, income or physical ability, with safe travel options to the Woodgrove Centre, one of Nanaimo’s key mobility and economic hubs. While the guideline recommends best practice levels of space and separation, it also includes retrofit guidance and speaks to how similar outcomes can be achieved for lower costs or in constrained rights-of-way. The guideline and the Metral Drive design include many best practices, but most innovative is the adoption of Dutch design principles prioritizing active modes through design with continuous sidewalks and bike paths across local roads. While this old design technique is often used in Europe, we believe it has not been fully implemented in Canada.
In order to ensure consistent active transportation facility design across the province that is safe, comfortable, and accessible for people of all ages and abilities, the BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI), in partnership with Urban Systems, took the step of developing the British Columbia Active Transportation Design Guide in conjunction with the Active Transportation Strategy. The Design Guide is a comprehensive set of planning and engineering guidelines offering recommendations for the planning, selection, design, implementation, and maintenance of active transportation infrastructure across the province. The Design Guide was developed based on national and international best practices and is one of the most comprehensive and innovative active transportation planning and design documents that has been developed to date anywhere in North America.
Winter road maintenance operations to fight snow and ice throughout Canadian winters is critical for road user safety and economic viability. Winter maintenance operations in Canada use over 5 million tonnes of road salt annually. The effectiveness of salt is very sensitive to the pavement temperature. As the temperature decreases, salt becomes less effective and, as a result, salt application rates are typically increased at colder temperatures to compensate for the reduced effectiveness and ensure safe driving conditions. Traditional weather forecasts provide atmospheric temperatures well above the earth’s surface and don’t accurately reflect the pavement temperature which is key to the operational effectiveness of salt. Salt applied at the incorrect application rate results in significant waste, reduced road safety and is a negative impact on the environment. Road Weather Information System (RWIS) stations (Figure 1) provide valuable weather and pavement data used to produce pavement forecasts. Pavement forecasts provide the actual pavement temperature and condition enabling maintenance service providers to identify the right product to be applied at the right application rate, the right time and in the right location. This optimizes winter maintenance operations, reduces the quantity of salt applied, enhances public safety and mobility and minimizes the environmental impact. While RWIS stations provide valuable information, they are expensive to build (~$100,000 / station), forecast, operate and maintain (~$10,000/year/station). New smaller stations have recently come on the market to supplement full RWIS stations adding value at a reduced capital price (~$20,000). These mini RWIS stations have similar forecasting and operating costs with slightly less maintenance costs in comparison with the RWIS. Wood has designed a set of algorithms to produce Virtual RWIS observations and an RWIS forecast showing pavement temperatures and conditions. This innovative method utilizes the RWIS network and regional information while eliminating the capital and maintenance costs. This enables RWIS information to be more readily available to all road authorities across Canada at significantly reduced costs. The Virtual RWIS enables road authorities to densify their existing RWIS network and gain critical information in micro-climate areas or in areas with sparse RWIS stations. Virtual RWIS also enables other road authorities, who may not have an RWIS network, to acquire RWIS observations and forecasts to optimize their operations, public safety and environmental stewardship, at a significantly reduced cost. The Virtual RWIS stations significantly enhance winter road maintenance operations for road authorities. This in turn increases road user safety, reduces congestion, reduces crashes, health care costs, associated lost work time and quality of life, reduces salt released into the environment and reduces greenhouse gases.
An innovative intersection design was necessary to address road safety and operational concerns at the St. Peters Road intersection on the Trans-Canada Highway in Charlottetown, PEI. The PEI Department of Transportation, Infrastructure & Energy (PEI-TIE) in association with WSP Canada, analysed numerous intersection improvement and grade separation alternatives, and concluded that a partial Displaced-Left-Turn (DLT) intersection configuration was the best solution. Canada’s Road Safety Strategy 2025 and its Toward Zero vision of making Canada’s roads the safest in the world provides an inventory of proven and promising best practices from around the world to address key road safety risk contributing factors. Although these best practices include intersection treatments such as Jug Handles, Median U-Turns, and a selection of low-cost intersection improvement options, the inventory does not include the DLT configuration. This innovative intersection alternative is promoted by the United States Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), and has been used with great success by numerous State Departments of Transportation. Although new to Canada, the DLT is recognized in the 2017 Transportation Association of Canada’s Geometric Design Guide for its operational and safety benefits. As the DLT is new to Canada, a cautious approach to analysis and design was taken. This included the application of several analytical methods and tools to assess traffic operations, and careful consideration of safety throughout the design process through the use of a senior advisory panel consisting of road safety, human factor, and innovative design experts. This project is an excellent example of the application of new and innovative design solutions to address complex design challenges. It also provides a valuable suite of geometric design, signal, signage, and positive guidance best practices specific to the Canadian context for inclusion in future DLT intersection designs in Canada.
In 2016, the City of Ottawa embarked on a planning and design process for the renewal of one of the city’s most prominent and historic downtown streets, twelve city blocks of Elgin Street. The street is a designated Traditional Mainstreet, Arterial Road, Transit Priority Route and Truck Route, while also being a favoured destination for pedestrians and cyclists who frequent the many shops and services. The sewers and watermains were among the oldest in the city, dating back to the late 1800s. The need to replace this aging infrastructure created a unique opportunity to assess the road surface and redesign it to meet the City of Ottawa’s Traditional Mainstreet designation in the Official Plan, Complete Streets policy, Accessibility Design Standards and improve safety, especially for the thousands of pedestrians walking along Elgin Street every day. The City consulted with community groups, business owners, residents, and the Urban Design Review Panel on the vision and redesign options. The City retained a team led by Parsons Inc. to provide planning, engineering, design and construction administration services, and assist with a broad and inclusive stakeholder engagement exercise. The Planning Partnership and J.L. Richards & Associates provided supporting design services, as did various City branches including Ottawa’s Transportation Services and Infrastructure Services. Details about the Elgin Street Renewal project can be found on the City’s website at: ottawa.ca/elginstreet
The Province of British Columbia is committed to eliminating serious injuries and fatalities. One way to reach this goal is through increased use of intelligent transportation technologies. The Road Weather Information Systems (RWIS) combined with variable message signs (VMS) are an innovative safety tool that is being rolled out in British Columbia in areas that experience changing road conditions due to weather events. Weather in BC can change rapidly, especially in winter. Adverse weather conditions create an environment in which it is difficult for drivers to navigate safely. RWIS and VMS integrations can be utilized to provide travelers with information on current weather and road conditions via electronic variable message signs and reduce the frequency and severity of winter collisions. The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure has combined RWISs and VMSs at seven locations on rural highways that experience extreme winter weather conditions and a poor safety performance.
Increasingly, priorities for environmental planning and management of transportation projects focus on protection of biodiversity. In Canada, this focus has been reinforced by the provisions of the federal Species at Risk Act and complementary provincial legislation. Further, management of invasive species to protect biodiversity, resources, and agriculture often necessitates rapid response, particularly for aquatic invasive species. Linear transportation projects typically cross multiple watercourses, which can alter adjacent habitat through loss, disruption and fragmentation, and change surface water quality, storage and transport. Understanding potential effects across multiple drainages is of key interest to regulators and is often very costly to the transportation agency. In recent years, heightened awareness regarding highway infrastructure operating as potential pathways for invasive species has resulted in inter-provincial collaboration to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species such as zebra and quagga mussels. Such invasives can significantly disrupt local native food webs and reduce populations of species that are of cultural, recreational, and commercial importance. Hemmera’s submission discusses how environmental DNA (eDNA) can be used to quickly and cost-effectively detect aquatic and semi-aquatic species, particularly for at-risk and invasive species.
Ottawa’s residents are increasingly demanding streets with healthy tree canopies that are comfortable for walking, cycling, and taking public transit no matter what their age or level of ability. With over 6,000 km of existing streets, the traditional approach to transform them through retrofit projects takes significant time, cost and inconvenience compared to getting the design right at the outset. Meanwhile, the Ottawa continues to grow at a rate of approximately 15,000 people annually1, adding thousands of new trips to the transportation network and placing additional pressure on the existing system. This “green” street vision is reflected in the City of Ottawa’s higher-level policy documents such as the Official Plan and Transportation Master Plan. Greening city streets has a significant impact on the quality of life for citizens, impacting the health and safety or our population, the ability to provide equitable access to education, employment, recreation and community, and the quality of the natural environment. Many streets do not support this green vision in their current form. Furthermore, there are a significant number of new streets being planned through development of new neighourhoods. The majority of these streets built in new areas have typically been constructed without integrated speed management design, safe cycling facilities, consistent space for large tree species, and don’t meet operational requirements for transit, emergency response, winter maintenance, or utility servicing. However, guidance on how to resolve these challenges and materialize solutions into reality has been limited, often resulting in reversions to ‘watered down’ or more traditional street designs before reaching implementation. Until now, build-out of progressive street designs have been limited to occasional achievements on isolated streets where resources, technical perspectives and political support have aligned. To address this, and help achieve broader scaling, the City’s Transportation Planning group developed two street design guidance documents in partnership with key stakeholders to ensure the implementation of progressive street designs are part of the basic design framework on any project, by any proponent. This paper discusses the second of these two foundational sets of guidelines approved in 2019 which summarizes a significant update to urban road design in the Designing Neighbourhood Collector Streets document.
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.