Transportation Services staff receive many requests to address speed and traffic safety issues on local and collector roadways in the City of Brantford. In some cases, the installation of traffic control devices (i.e. all way stops) and/or parking control does not resolve the issues, and in some cases, leads to less respect for traffic controls, speeding between stop signs, and traffic diverting to alternative roadways.
As a result, some residents have requested that the City of Brantford investigate the installation of traffic calming devices to address the traffic behaviour. The Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) Subcommittee on Traffic Calming (1997) defines traffic calming devices as follows:
“The combination of mainly physical measures that reduce the negative affects of motor vehicle use, alter driver behaviour, and improve conditions for non-motorized street users”.
Brantford residents have shown an increased interest for traffic calming devices to address speed and traffic issues. On June 12, 2006, the Stronger City of Toronto for a Stronger Ontario Act, 2006 (City of Toronto Act) received royal assent. With the passing of the City of Toronto Act the Environmental Assessment Act (EA Act) was amended and now it explicitly states that traffic calming is not subject to the EA Act. Therefore, the installation of traffic calming devices no longer requires the completion of a "Municipal Class Environmental Assessment," which makes the planning process for traffic calming measures less time consuming for staff and more effective for local residents. Community involvement is still a key part of the traffic calming study, however contact with outside agencies and the general public not directly affected by the traffic calming measures would not be required.
The following process will be followed in order for the City of Brantford to consider the implementation of traffic calming measures on any particular street:
a) A request is received in writing by the Transportation Services Department identifying the subject area and contact person(s). The Request for Traffic Calming Form is provided below.
b) Transportation Services staff investigate the request and conclude that the area meets all the following traffic calming criteria outlined in the Traffic Calming Policy:
- Street must have a classification of residential local or collector;
- The posted speed limit on the street must be 50 kph or less;
- Roadway must be more than 300 meters in length;
- Other less intrusive measures have been investigated/implemented and found to be ineffective (public education, enforcement , signing);
- Must have adequate sight distance for proposed design speed.
c) A traffic calming study is conducted for the subject site to determine the severity of the issues based on vehicle speed, volume and collision history. If the severity score is six (6) or more, the street will be considered a candidate for traffic calming measures.
d) A survey of the residents on the street where traffic calming is proposed will be conducted to determine the support for traffic calming measures. A simple majority of fifty-one percent (51%) will be required to proceed to the next step. If a majority of the residents do not support the measures, then a request for traffic calming on this street will not be considered for at least three (3) years.
e) The residents and Ward Councillors will be advised of the results of the survey. A positive residential response will result in a report being prepared for City Council that recommends that staff develop a preferred plan after an evaluation of the impacts related to the installation of traffic calming. Consultation with the affected residents by way of a pubic meeting is included in the step.
f) After consultation with the public, a second report will be prepared for City Council's approval for the preferred traffic calming plan. The report will identify the cost of improvements, sources of funding and schedule for construction. If more than one project has the same severity score, a priority ranking will be applied based on speed, volume, roadside environment and collision history.
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