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Guidelines for the Preparation of Traffic Impact Studies

1.0 Introduction

The main purpose of a Traffic Impact Study (TIS) is to demonstrate how the transportation impacts of a proposed development or redevelopment can be mitigated and addressed in a manner that is consistent with the objectives of the Ministry of Transportation. The TIS also serves as the basis for the identification and evaluation of transportation related improvements or measures to be included as a condition of access approval for the development or redevelopment.

Evaluation of traffic impacts of proposed development depends upon a number of assumptions about the type, amount and patterns of traffic expected to be produced from and attracted to the site. MTO staff are available for pre-submission communication to confirm key assumptions and parameters through the Regional Planning and Design Section (referred to as Corridor Management office in Central Region only). Depending upon the complexity of the proposed development, this may reduce or negate the need for study revisions following submission of the completed study. A list of possible discussion items is attached for reference.

For clarification on any matters related to the submission, contact the appropriate Regional Planning and Design Section (Corridor Management Section in Central Region only) provided below. For services in French, contact

Northwestern Region 1-807-473-2000 or 1-800-465-5034

Northeastern Region 1-705-472-7900 or 1-800-461-9547

Eastern Region 1-613-544-2200 or 1-800-267-0295

Central Region 1-416-235-5385

Southwestern Region1-519-873-4100

It is the proponent's responsibility to retain a qualified transportation consultant experienced in the preparation of TISs. Effective January 1, 2010, all TISs shall be undertaken by a firm approved under the Ministry of Transportation’s consultant Registry, Appraisal and Qualification System (RAQS) under the Traffic Impact Analysis specialty category. Also effective January 1, 2010, TISs shall be signed and stamped by a Professional Engineer registered in the Province of Ontario taking responsibility for the TIS contents.

MTO will accept the use of Highway Capacity Software (HCS) 2000 and Synchro/Sim Traffic Simulation Software Version 5 (or higher) for intersection capacity/operational analysis. The consultant will require prior approval from MTO to use any software other than those listed above and may be requested to submit an electronic copy of the files. If the proposed development directly impacts freeway operations there may be a need to undertake microsimulation to assess these impacts. The ministry’s regional Corridor Control offices should be contacted if there are any questions as to these requirements.

A minimum of three copies of the TIS shall be submitted to MTO for review.

1.1 References

The following references are recommended but not limited to:

  • ITE Trip Generation Manual and Handbook (most recent edition)
  • Geometric Design Standards for Ontario Highways Manual (most recent edition)
  • Highway Capacity Manual (most recent edition)
  • ITE Traffic Access and Impact Studies for Site Development: A Recommended Practice
  • MTO Directives PLNG-B-05, PLNG-B-06, PLNG-B-08, PLNG-B-169 (available from MTO)
  • Transportation Tomorrow Survey (TTS)

Note: these technical documents are available in English only.

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