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Improve operational and maintenance practices

We heard suggestions to improve traffic flow and reduce delays. Themes included:

  • A need for operational improvements on the Inner Ring Road, particularly Yellowhead Trail
  • Reduce delays on goods movement corridors by reviewing traffic signal timings, consider length of traffic signal phases, and coordinate by basing signal timing on trucks
  • Report incidents in real-time using Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) and social media
  • Improve bus and truck interactions

We also heard specific themes about operations and maintenance on goods movement routes:

  • Need for consistent road maintenance, snow clearing on truck routes
  • Consider alternative paving materials in high truck volume areas to avoid potholes and asphalt rutting
Improve network planning and forecasting

Many noted Anthony Henday Drive (AHD) is a key facility for goods movement. They noted a need to work with the province to complete northeast portion of Anthony Henday Drive (AHD) and increase the benefits of this facility.

It was also suggested we need to coordinate planning for land use and the goods movement network, including:

  • Providing industrial land uses with direct and appropriate access, particularly to AHD and load/unloading areas
  • Clustering and mixed use development where it makes sense
  • Understanding special needs of goods movement downtown, including improving loading and unloading zones for couriers downtown

Some suggested design standards on goods movement routes could be reviewed for:

  • Ensuring street design accommodates the growing size of vehicles on the goods movement network [for example, intersection turning geometries, length of turning bays]
  • Allowing flexibility for wider roads, pavement, curbs, gutters and sidewalk on truck routes and industrial areas
  • Providing aesthetic options in industrial areas

It was noted that gathering information on goods movement activity to improve planning and forecasting would be beneficial, suggestions include:

  • Using ITS to obtain information on truck movements, impediments and communicating to drivers
  • Gathering data on goods movement
  • Reviewing and updating the Truck Route and Dangerous Goods Map
Increase transportation network efficiency

Some of the major themes heard to date included improving connectivity among key goods-generating activity centres and the goods movement network. These suggestions include:

  • Improving directness between desired origins and destinations
  • Increasing the number of north-south truck routes available on the east side of the city
  • Addressing discontinuous and fragmented truck routes around the city
  • Providing better connections between city and provincial/regional truck routes
  • Improving connections to AHD
  • Improving connectivity between AHD and Inner Ring Road
  • Making it easier to navigate on truck routes between industrial points of interest such as industrial areas, intermodal yards and the Edmonton International Airport
  • Improving connectivity and reducing circuitous truck routes

Changes were suggested to develop a hierarchical, consistently-defined goods movement network including marking primary and secondary goods movement routes in red and being consistent in truck route design.

It was noted that grade-separated rail crossings on goods movement corridors were needed in some locations. This includes reviewing disruptive rail crossings (specific locations identified include 149 Street & Yellowhead Trail and south side).

It was suggested actions could be taken to better accommodate oversize loads within the network. Suggestions include:

  • Plan oversize load corridors, consider specialized infrastructure needs and proximity to industrial parks
  • Working with Alberta Transportation and neighbouring regional municipalities
  • Communications to industry on current and future locations of oversize load corridors
  • Developing an Edmonton Region Truck Map with designated oversize load corridors
  • Coordinating with the High Load Corridor Association as needed
Improve regional and regulatory coordination

Comments suggested a need to work with Alberta Transportation regional municipalities, and rail and air authorities on goods movement planning. This includes harmonizing regulations and centralizing permit application system between the city, regional municipalities and the province. Coordinating infrastructure spending and priorities was also suggested.

Explore funding mechanisms to implement network improvements

It was suggested the Arterial Roadway Assessment process works well in residential areas, but should be reviewed in industrial areas. It was suggested the Asia-Pacific Fund could help fund rail crossing grade separations.

And it was noted that future practices need to remain consistent with existing transportation network funding and implementation procedures.

Enhance partnerships, communication and advocacy

Participants noted positive impacts of goods movement to the community including job creation, and that quality of life is increased when we attract to investment and improve the economy.

The need to educate the public about safe driving habits around large vehicles was identified. There were suggestions for forums to foster communication with public and industry. Community and industry representatives noted a desire to continue to be engaged on goods movement planning and development.

Improve on-road communication and way-finding for truck drivers

Participants noted a need for better on-road communication and way-finding. Suggestions included:

  • Updating the truck route map often and making it more readily available in various formats with greater visual clarity on height restrictions, particularly around bridges, overpasses and underpasses
  • Making on-road signage about height and truck restrictions more clear
  • Implementing signage that gives drivers more time to make alternate route choices if needed
  • Developing a GPS overlay for truck routes
  • Communicating with truck drivers through the City website and existing electronic message signs
  • Allowing trucks to travel “off truck route” when disruptions occur
Mitigate community and environmental impacts

Suggestions to work towards designating truck routes to reduce environmental impacts on residential neighbourhoods and other sensitive areas where possible were made. Participants identified key factors to consider:

  • Emissions
  • Noise
  • Vibration
  • Run off effects on watersheds
  • Wild life (collisions)

It was suggested that designating truck routes through residential communities should be avoided where feasible. This includes:

  • Avoid planning truck routes that split communities
  • Reduce truck routes in residential areas
  • Enforce truck route bylaw

Promoting direct and congestion-free truck routes, where feasible, and increasing the efficiency of trucking operations were also identified as ways to reduce environmental impacts. Suggestions include:

  • Stop and go traffic decreases fuel efficiency
  • Free flow and direct routes are better for the environment
  • Consolidate loads at depots / terminals
  • Promote load consolidation for movements in the urban area (loads ½ empty, lack of coordination)
  • Promote greater integration between rail and air
  • There have been improved emissions controls on trucks – These will continue
  • Consider allowing trucks to venture off-truck routes when incidents occur – this will reduce idling and impacts to environment

It was also suggested roads need to be designed to be used by many road users:

  • Implement geometric designs that help improve safety
  • Minimize conflicts with pedestrians and cyclists, particularly on truck routes
  • Overpasses needed on Yellowhead Trail
  • Overpasses for pedestrians on AHD
  • Need site design that promotes off-street loading, good truck access

For More Information

Howaida Hassan

Telephone 780-496-5685
Email trucksurvey@edmonton.ca

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