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Guidelines for the Preparation of Traffic Impact Studies

2.0 Submission Requirement


2.1 Executive Summary

  • Contains key findings, conclusions and recommendations of the TIS and should be located at the front of the TIS.

2.2 Introduction

  • Includes the purpose for submitting the TIS;
  • Contains a brief description of the project;
  • Contains a description of the components of the TIS.

2.3 Existing Conditions

  • Describes the road jurisdictions, road classifications, existing land use type, speed limits, lane configurations, street names, signalized and/or unsignalized intersections and their locations. This information should be provided on detailed maps and diagrams.

2.4 Study Area

  • Contains a description and a map of the study area including but not limited to the site location, land use type of the surrounding and subject development lands;
  • The study area should extend far enough to contain all highways, interchanges and intersections that will be affected by the traffic generated by the proposed development.

2.5 Development Land Use Type and Site Plan

  • Contains a description of the type of land uses proposed and a detailed site plan showing structures, parking, access and site circulation;
  • Identifies existing road edges, entrances, pavement markings and traffic control for roads adjacent to the proposed development, shown to scale.

2.6 Development Size

  • Describes the size of the proposed development, such as property size (area), number of residential units, industrial gross floor area, number of employees, number of hotel rooms, commercial gross leasable floor area, etc.

2.7 Development Stages

  • Identifies the phasing schemes of the development;
  • Identifies the expected dates of full and partial completion/occupancy, estimated length of construction and opening dates if available, for each phase.

2.8 Other Development and Planned Road Improvements

  • Identifies other developments in the study area that are under construction, approved or in the approval process that will impact the provincial facility or proposed access;
  • Identifies any road improvements that are planned or currently under construction within the defined study area.

2.9 Study Horizons

  • Identifies other developments in the study area that are under construction, approved or in the approval process that will impact the provincial facility or proposed access;
  • Identifies any road improvements that are planned or currently under construction within the defined study area.

2.10 Traffic Analysis

  • Impacts on the road network should be evaluated for A.M. and P.M. peak hours and the site peak generation hour;
  • Depending upon the study area and proposed land or building uses, there may be a need to consider specific seasons, days of week, or non-typical peak periods;
  • The peak hour analysis should be undertaken for full development and for interim stages if applicable (with and without the relevant transportation improvements) as well as:
    • Existing traffic conditions
    • Existing traffic conditions plus background growth
    • Existing traffic conditions plus background growth plus site generated traffic
  • Heavy/Commercial vehicles should be accounted for in the traffic analysis.

2.11 Turning Movement Counts

  • MTO data are preferred; however, counts from the local municipality or consultant counts may be acceptable, once approved by the MTO;
  • Only data collected within three years of the study shall be used. Historical and recent AADT volume information for provincial highways can be obtained from the Ministry of Transportation website http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/pubs/trafficvolumes.shtml;
  • See section 2.10 regarding the need for data for specific seasons, days of week, or non-typical peak periods.

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2.12 Background Traffic Forecasts (non-site traffic)

  • Describes the method and assumptions for determining non-site future traffic, including growth rates plus size and expected build out years for approved developments in the study area.

2.13 Trip Generation

  • Describes source and details of trip generation rates or equations used;
  • Local data collection may be acceptable provided that conditions are similar to those for the proposed development or that differences are accounted for. A minimum of three comparable studies should be provided.

2.14 Trip Distribution Assignment

  • Describes methods and assumptions for distribution and route assignment of traffic;
  • Assumptions for trip distribution should be supported by one or more of the following:
    • Transportation Tomorrow Survey (TTS) data
    • Origin-destination Surveys
    • Comprehensive Travel Surveys
    • Planning models
    • Market studies
  • Assumptions for route assignment should be supported by:
    • Existing travel patters
    • Expected future travel patters

2.15 Trip Pass-by/Interaction Rates (on-site Synergy)

  • Describes source, method and assumptions for adjusting gross tip generation for pass-by trips or site interaction rates.

2.16 Evaluation of Impacts

  • Describes methodologies and parameters used in evaluation;
  • All signalized and relevant unsignalized intersections in the study network shall be evaluated. At signalized intersections, movements with a v/c ratio greater than 0.85 are deemed to be "critical" in terms of operations. Movements that experience a v/c ratio of 0.85 or greater would be consideration for geometric improvement. For ramp terminals a v/c ratio for ramp approaches with a value greater than 0.75 would be deemed critical and considered for geometric improvement;
  • All proposed new traffic signals should be evaluated for conformance to MTO best practices, proximity to other adjacent traffic signals, traffic signal progression and any impacts on the corridor;
  • All exclusive turn lanes should be designed as per the GDSOH manual;
  • Any traffic improvements or operational concerns that cannot be adequately mitigated to MTO standards should be identified;
  • Forecast and analyze traffic for the opening day of the development, 5 and 10 years beyond the opening date;
  • In the case of a multi-phased development, volume projections are required for the opening year of each phase including full build-out, 5 and 10 years beyond full build-out. Include other approved developments within the study area as background traffic;
  • All volumes should be shown in exhibits.

2.17 Signal Justification

  • The need for traffic signals and/or underground provisions should be reviewed at all locations affected by the proposed development and for each proposed development stage(s). Refer to OTM – Book 12 to determine when traffic signals or provisions for signals are warranted.

2.18 Geometric Improvements

  • The need for geometric improvements should be reviewed at all locations in the study area and for each proposed development stage(s). The TIS should clearly identify transportation impacts by movement, the transportation system improvements that are needed to mitigate these impacts and the timing of these improvements;
  • All geometric improvements should be shown on a functional plan identifying lane arrangements and intersection improvements for each horizon year;
  • The illumination needs required as result of any proposed geometric improvements to accommodate the proposed development shall be assessed in accordance with MTO Directives PLNG-B-05 and PLNG-B-06.

2.19 Conclusions and Recommendations

  • Summary of key findings on the impacts of the proposed development on the highway corridor;
  • Summary of recommended improvements. This should include but is not limited to type of access, entrance design, highway improvement including right/left turn lanes, tapers, visibility triangles, signalization and signage, etc.;
  • If one TIS is prepared for both provincial and municipal consideration, break down the summary of impacts and improvements by road authority.

All diagrams, drawings and figures contained in the TIS must be of a sufficient scale to be legible. All drawings, tables, and exhibits/figures included in the TIS must be appropriately labelled and listed at the front of the TIS (after the Table of Contents) under the appropriate headings.

3.0 Disclaimer

Notwithstanding the above, each Regional Planning and Design Section and/or Traffic Section may require additional information and analysis, depending on the complexity of the proposal and the anticipated traffic impacts.

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