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Public Works Transportation For Business Traffic Impact Study - Terms of Reference

Traffic Impact Study - Terms of Reference

A Traffic Impact Study may be required to review a proposed access to a Regional road or anticipated traffic impact on the Regional road network. The Traffic Impact Study shall be completed in accordance with the Region's Traffic Impact Study Guidelines (available for distribution upon request).

The following is a general terms of reference for all traffic impact studies. Not all elements listed below are required, and will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Formal terms of reference must be submitted to the Traffic Development Group prior to submitting a report.

Full Description

The study must provide a full description of the proposed development. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • 1. Municipal address.
  • 2. Existing land uses that are permitted and use provisions in an Official Plan Amendment, Zoning By-law, etc.
  • 3. Proposed land uses.
  • 4. Floor space, including a summary of each type of use and/or number of residential units (where applicable).
  • 5. Anticipated date of occupancy.
  • 6. Approximate hour of operation.
  • 7. Planned phasing of the development.
  • 8. Nearby Regional intersections and access to adjacent developments, including type of control (signalized or unsignalized).
  • 9. Number of lanes, width and configuration:
        - The requirements for auxiliary turn lanes shall be reviewed. Adequate spacing must be provided between access points in accordance with the Region of Peel's current Controlled Access By-law, as amended. All design standards must be in accordance with those outlined in the Transportation Association of Canada (TAC) Geometric Design Guide for Canadian Roads and the Ministry of Transportation, Ontario (MTO) Geometric Design Standards for Ontario Highways.
  • 10. Proposed access points and type of access:
        - When determining the location of an access, consideration should be given to how the access will affect the surrounding road network, area residents and area businesses. All proposed site access points on Regional roads should be evaluated for capacity, safety and adequacy of queue storage capacity. Approval of the proposed access will be evaluated using the Region of Peel's current Controlled Access By-law, as amended and sound engineering judgement.
  • 11. Nearby transit facilities/stops.
  • 12. Bike paths.
  • 13. A combination of maps and other documentation, which will identify all relevant information.

Traffic Volume Analysis

A traffic volume analysis must include:

  • 1. Horizon years of 5 and 10 and 20 depending on full build-out, or as advised by Regional staff.
  • 2. AM and PM peak periods at a minimum. Commercial development requires Saturday analysis - note that the analysis of turning movement counts (TMCs) for a Saturday of a holiday weekend will not be accepted except when directed by Regional staff.
  • 3. Background, site-generated and total traffic volumes.
  • 4. "Worst case" combination of site-related and background traffic.
    • Please contact Transportation System Planning staff to confirm growth rates along the subject Regional road(s).
    • Please contact Traffic Operations staff to obtain the most recent TMCs and/or average annual daily traffic (AADT).
    • Please contact Traffic Signals and Systems staff to obtain traffic signal timing parameters and ensure that the information includes the appropriate walk/don't walk splits, recall modes and offsets.
    • Please contact Development Services Planning staff to obtain details on surrounding developments in the area that would affect traffic capacity in the planning horizon year(s).

Trip Generation and Distribution

A trip distribution and trip generation analysis must include:

  • 1. Trip generation surveys from similar developments in the Region which have similar operating characteristics as the proposed development.
  • 2. Latest edition of the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) trip generation rates are acceptable (use the greater of the average rate method or the fitted line equation).
  • 3. A table summarizing your findings.
  • 4. Trip distribution assumptions must be supported by one or more of the following:
        - Transportation Tomorrow Survey
        - Origin-destination surveys
        - Comprehensive travel surveys
        - Existing/anticipated travel patterns
        - Output from the Region of Peel Travel Demand Forecasting Model
        - Market studies

Capacity Analysis

The report must include capacity analysis completed in Synchro (version 7.0 preferred, but version 8.0 will be accepted as per the Highway Capacity Manual (HCM) 2000 standards and not the new HCM 2010 module). Unsignalized analysis can be completed in either Synchro or CCG Intercalc (2008 version at a minimum).

The following parameters must be used in either software:

  • Saturation flow rate of 1,900 vehicles per hour
  • 3.7 metre lane width on Regional roads; and
  • 3.5 metre lane width on the intersecting street(s) and/or access(es)
For Synchro analysis, see Regional Guidelines for Using Synchro 7.0 for other individual parameters. For CCG Intercalc analysis, saturation adjustments should include a complete breakdown of vehicle types by percentage (based on available data) and is to be documented in a table in the report.

The analysis must also include the identification of signalized intersections, unsignalized intersections and unsignalized accesses where:

  • 1. Volume/capacity (V/C) ratios for overall intersection operations, through movements or shared through/turning movements increased to 0.90 or above.
  • 2. V/C ratios for exclusive movements that will exceed 1.00.
  • 3. 95th percentile queue lengths for individual movements and do they exceed available lane storage.
All intersections that are modelled as signalized intersections (other than existing signalized intersections) must be supported by an Ontario Traffic Manual (OTM) Book 12 traffic control signals warrant, each one required to be included in the appendix of the TIS.

If traffic control signals are found to be warranted at a particular intersection in an earlier horizon year (e.g. 5 year horizon), a warrant is not required for the subsequent horizon year (e.g. 10 year horizon). The horizon year in which a particular intersection is warranted for traffic control signals must be documented in the text of the TIS. A roundabout feasibility analysis may also be required at the direction of Regional staff.

In Synchro unsignalized intersection analysis, if an unacceptable LOS ("E" or higher) and v/c ratio results on the minor approach in existing conditions analysis, the consultant shall conduct a gap study to establish an average value for gaps accepted (in seconds) and override the resultant value for the HCM-calculated critical gap in the Signing window.

For horizon year analysis with an existing two- lane road, if the road is forecasted to be widened to four lanes by the respective horizon year, the consultant shall override the resultant value for the HCM-calculated critical gap in the Signing window by inputting recommended values for critical gap of left-turning and right-turning movements onto a four-lane road as identified in the Ministry of Transportation, Ontario (MTO) Geometric Design Standards for Ontario Highways.

Sight Distance Evaluation

A review and analysis of the sight distance availability for all proposed accesses or roads is required. The sight distance requirements must be determined based on the most current standards and guidelines used by the Region of Peel. Available sight distance should be taken from actual field measurements to ensure accurate conditions.

Assess the sightlines based on the Region of Peel's standard practice, eye height and object height of 1.05 metres and 0.38 metres above road surface, respectively. The Region requires the access to meet the following sightline requirements:
      1. Stopping sight distance; and
      2. Turning sight distance.

Sight distances must be in accordance with the Transportation Association of Canada (TAC) Geometric Design Guide for Canadian Roads methodology. Folded full size and to scale drawings of the sightline analysis are required for our review and comment.


Identification of potential safety or operational issues must be reviewed that are associated with:
      - weaving
      - merging
      - corner clearances
      - sight distances
      - vehicle/pedestrian conflicts
      - traffic infiltration
      - access conflicts
      - cyclist movements
      - heavy truck movement conflicts
In addition, should the development be determined by Regional staff to be adjacent to a Regional intersection or road segment with significant collision history, most recent five-year collision data for the intersection(s) and/or road segment (s) must be reviewed and an assessment of the impact of the proposed development provided. Such information may be helpful to minimize any additional problems through the design or location of access points along the subject Regional road(s).

Please contact Traffic Safety staff for collision information.

Functional Design

A functional design detailing a recommended access configuration and/or proposed intersection geometrics may be required at the discretion of Regional staff.

Final Report

The following study structure is suggested:

  • 1. Site/development description
  • 2. Study area, including map
  • 3. Existing conditions - exhibit required
  • 4. Analysis periods
  • 5. Background, existing, future background and future total traffic demand - exhibit required
  • 6. Site generated traffic - exhibit required
  • 7. Improvement alternatives
  • 8. Traffic impacts for future background and total traffic with and without mitigation (tabular summaries)
  • 9. Access considerations
  • 10. Recommendations
The TIS should consist of a main document, supplemented by technical appendices containing detailed analyses as required.

The Region of Peel will require 1 copy to be in electronic format and 1 hard copy complete with the appropriate supporting documentation. This shall be submitted to the Traffic Engineering section of Public Works for our review, comment and approval.

All information submitted to Regional staff in connection with any Traffic Impact Study will be considered to be in the public domain.


The appendix must include:

  • 1. Turning movement counts (include date counted) with breakdown of heavy vehicle counts;
  • 2. Signal timing plan(s) for signalized intersections; and
  • 3. For submissions using Synchro, generated Synchro reports showing HCM 2000 results and queuing, as well as electronic Synchro files (CD copy or sent concurrently with the TIS via email); or
  • 4. For submissions using CCG Intercalc, a CCG Intercalc summary report.

Study Updates

From the date of submission, the Traffic Impact Study will have a "shelf life" of 5 years.

Where timing of subsequent development approvals exceeds 5 years, a new study will be required at the discretion of the Region of Peel.

Revised: Friday August 23 2013


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