The City of Westmount cares about the health and safety of its citizens and wants to maintain the quality of life of its residents. The Transportation Advisory Committee, made up of municipal elected officials, City administrators and police officers from the sector, reviews requests from citizens, the administration or any other organization on the concerns and needs raised.
Any duly completed application, with respect to a speed, traffic, mitigation request, shutdown, marking or parking problem, will be analyzed according to a rigorous process and will be discussed at the Transportation Advisory Committee of the City.
When required, the City may conduct studies and analysis, research solutions and coordinate projects, all in accordance with applicable laws, standards and policies.
The following guide was developed to facilitate and clarify the decisional process for all traffic and active transportation requests that are presented to the Traffic Advisory Committee (TAC). This includes but is not limited to the following to the following complaints and/or requests:
- Increased vehicular volumes and through traffic ;
- Traffic calming measures
- Traffic lights;
- Stop signs
- Signage and street marking
This guide was developed based on the principles outlined in Westmount’s’ Traffic Calming Guide as well as in the Master Traffic and Active Transportation Plan. As per these plans, the objective of the TAC is to assess and evaluate each request and, where applicable, implement an appropriate and corrective measure. The benefits of such measures are not limited to simply managing speeds and reducing traffic volumes, but can include positive impacts on air pollution, noise and vibrations, accidents and pedestrian safety.
2.0 PROCESSING OF TRAFFIC REQUESTS AND COMPLAINTS
The following process will be used to analyze all traffic related requests and complaints. The process is also outlined in Figure 2.1.
All requests are to be submitted in writing to the TAC and must include the following information:
- Description of issue(s);
- Reason for the request;
- Location of issue(s);
- Time when issue(s) occurs;
- Name, address and contact information of submitter.
The TAC may request additional information and/or conduct a site visit with the concerned stakeholders to better understand the problem.
In the event that a similar request was received, analyzed and closed by the TAC within the previous 24 months, the request will be reviewed to verify whether there has been a change in the site conditions or if the file pertains to a new safety concern. If there are no changes to report, the file will be closed and the requestor will be subsequently notified.
As numerous traffic requests and complaints are received, it is essential that each request be prioritized upon reception so that each file is analyzed based on need rather than a “first-come, first-served” basis. Therefore each request will be evaluated and rated according to the following criteria:
- Priority no. 1: Safety
- Is there an immediate danger to pedestrians, cyclists or motorists?
- Is there a risk of injury or bodily harm?
- Priority no. 2: Location of the problem
- Proximity to schools and school zones;
- Parks and playgrounds;
- Areas with a high concentration of pedestrians;
- Bike paths;
- Commercial areas
- Priority no. 3: Impact on Emergency services or City services
- Fire and ambulance access
- De-icing programs
- Priority no. 4: Other requests
Although all requests will be evaluated, special attention will be given to files classified as priority no. 1 and 2.
2.1.3 Identification of applicable policies
The relevant policies and the context will be identified for the sector under study to ensure that proposed solutions are coherent. All decisions should be consistent with other policies (Westmount Planning Programme, Westmount Traffic and Active Transportation Master Plan, traffic calming guide etc.). In addition, the street hierarchy, speed limit, fire routes, transit routes, cycling, corridors and school zones will all be identified. For reference, this information is attached in annex xxx.
2.1.4 Data collection
The Public Works Department is responsible for all data collection. Data and studies will be considered valid for a period 24 months unless there is a significant change to the site conditions. Data will be collected between September 1st and May 31st and for a maximum of 5 days. This includes, radar and speed assessment surveys as well as traffic and volume counts.
Parking audits will be conducted a maximum of four times a day for five days over a period of two weeks.
2.1.5 Analysis and Identification of Issues
Relevant collected data will be analyzed by the City Administration. Any issue(s) will be identified, assessed and presented to the TAC. If the warrants outlined in section 2.2 are not met, the file will be closed and will remain closed for a period of 24 months. If either one or more warrants are met, the process will continue. Meeting minutes will be kept during each Committee meeting and will be forwarded to City Council.
2.1.6 Identification and Evaluation of Measures
Effective and applicable measures (if any) will be identified to be considered by the TAC. Other measures from best practice guides may also be considered from time to time.
Analysis of various issues should take into account possible impacts on adjacent streets. Potential measures will be broadly evaluated before being discussed and presented to concerned residents.
Possible measures will be evaluated based on the following criteria:
- Effectiveness of measure to address identified issue(s);
- Impacts on adjacent streets (i.e. divert the problem onto another street);
- Impacts on on-street parking;
- Potential to improve the streetscape;
- Sustainability opportunities.
The Committee will consider each request based on applicable policies, the analysis of the issue and other relevant information.
The Committee will then decide based on the criteria and considerations contained in section 2.2 whether a measure(s) is warranted or not. The Committee will inform City Council (via meeting minutes) and concerned residents of its decision. Any recommended measures will then be forwarded for funding.
Any measure on a street scheduled for major roadwork in the next three years will be deferred and combined to this scheduled roadwork. The request will end at this point if it has not been approved by the Committee after residents have been informed.
If the TAC determines that immediate action is required for safety reasons, the Committee will proceed with the implementation of a mitigating measure without first polling the residents.
2.1.8 Resident Polling
Residents on a street block on which one or more traffic calming measure(s) or a change in parking is being considered will be polled. Concerned residents and property owners will be informed by mail or email and given sufficient time to respond. Any measure not supported by 75% of responding residents will not be considered by the Committee. A minimum threshold of 50% of households must vote for the poll results to be considered valid.
The Public Works Department will be responsible for the design and implementation of approved measures. A temporary measure may be installed before it becomes permanent to assess effectiveness (if applicable) or if implementation is deferred.
2.1.10 Follow-Up and Evaluation
Following implementation, the City will evaluate if the measure or measures are effective. If necessary, modifications will be implemented accordingly.
2.2 CRITERIA AND WARRANTS
The following criteria and warrants will be used to assess the different traffic files:
|Request and/or nature of file||Criteria and warrants used for evaluation||Additional parameters to consider||Data collection|
In addition, some specific warrants may need to be evaluated based on the type of measure that is being considered for implantation. These include:
Specific Measure Warrants
- Resident Support
- The support of at least 75% of responding impacted households and property owners is necessary
- Emergency Response
- Impacts on emergency vehicles cannot be significant. Emergency services will be consulted prior to implementing measures.
- Operational constraints
- Impacts on the City’s providing of essential services to residents cannot be significant (i.e. de-icing operations, snow clearing, etc.). Appropriate City staff will be consulted prior to implementing measures.
- The STM will be consulted when measures are proposed on street segments with transit service to determine the impacts.
- Street Grade Certain measures cannot be considered where grades are 8% or more
- Certain measures cannot be considered on collector or arterial streets.