The Traffic Management plan, or Traffic Plan as it is more commonly referred to, is an essential part of the traffic planning process and is being used more often than ever. Ten years ago the average traffic control setup had no written traffic plan whatsoever: now most whether for a municipality or for a Provincial highway do, at least in the lower mainland.
Jurisdiction over roads and highways is split between many government offices. It is best explained by Paragraph 1.2.2 of the MoTH Manual:
The MoTH Manual expects that a traffic plan will be prepared for traffic control on a work site in Paragraph 1.2.4. It is recognized that some plans require greater complexity and Traffic Engineers are recommended for complex projects in Paragraph 1.2.5. The Ministry required traffic plans be filed before the cities and municiplaities did. Of course, Provincial highways tend to be rural and of much higher speed making the situations more dangerous.
The Provincial highway network is divided into several regions and one must work with the Local Highways Office to obtain the necessary work permit before going on the highway to work.
The Ministry has published the Traffic Management Guidelines for Work on Roadways to provide traffic management guidelines for District Managers and others who authorize the permits that are issued. It defines the characteristics of five classes of traffic plans, from the most informal, Class 1, to the most complex, Class 5 and it sets out the process for evaluating those plans.
This document will not be of much interest to the casual observer but it is essential reading to anyone preparing any but the simplest of traffic management plans.
Municipal authority includes cities and municipalities. They have jurisdiction over their roads with the exception of Provincial highways that pass through them. Up until 2010 there were few traffic plans created for municipal roads and streets. Their speeds and traffic volumes were lower that found on highways and so traffic planning was left up to the training of the Traffic Control Person on the job.
In 2010 WorkSafe BC approached the City of Vancouver and asked that some way of creating traffic plans for all job sites be found. As Ansan was the provider of traffic control services to the City we were asked how we thought it could be done. Our answer was the “On-Site Traffic Plans Sketch Book” which we created for our TCP’s.
The book has pages set up with a grid for the sketching of a traffic plan and on the reverse side is a form for recording the “toolbox” meeting at the beginning of the job. As with any new scheme, there were wrinkles to be worked out but it soon became the norm on City of Vancouver job sites. Without waiting for WorkSafe BC to expand the program, all companies in the Ansan Group were issued these books and were instructed to use them on all job sites. Initially there was resistance from some customers who felt the process took too long but WorkSafe BC stepped in and made it mandatory. On all job sites, for every traffic control setup, there will be a written Traffic Plan and notes of the “toolbox meeting”. This has become the norm for the lower mainland and it is spreading throughout the Province as WorkSafe BC begins to insist on it.
To determine what a particular municiplaity will require for your project you will have to talk to the traffic people in their engineering office. These can be a bit hard to find on most municipal websites but we have tried to do that for you in our Links area. Take a look under Municipal Traffic Control Services.
Ansan can provide you with your traffic planning needs. However, we have fall back suppliers of services whom we rely upon and they can be a valuable resource for information and service.