County Transportation Master Plan in the works

WELLINGTON COUNTY – A progress report on a Transportation Master Plan (TMP) was presented to Wellington County council on March 26.

With funding allocated to the plan in the 2020 budget, staff are proposing to undertake a study that provides the county with future planning for its transportation network and includes a number of actions to address current road needs, states the report, which outline various areas of study to determine the terms of reference for a consultant request for proposal.

The report notes the last overall county review of the transportation network was in 2005, when the Guelph Wellington Transportation Study was completed.

Other studies and initiatives related to county transportation matters such as the Active Transportation Plan, Development Charges Studies, Passing Lane Study and various road and bridge environmental assessments have been completed since that time.

In addition, the report notes other jurisdictions have completed or are undertaking transportation-related studies that impact the county, such as the province’s draft regional transportation plan for Southwestern Ontario, Centre Wellington’s 2019 TMP and Guelph’s current TMP.

The report notes the county TMP will review current and future local transportation network requirements to accommodate future projected population and employment growth.

The plan will be utilized as a background document for the county’s future Development Charges Background Study and Official Plan Review.

It will also guide capital project prioritization and integrate with corporate asset management through the review of levels of service criteria for the county’s road and bridge infrastructure.

Staff indicate it is also an opportunity to review and address road safety and speed management concerns.

Staff recommend areas of study in the terms of reference for a consultant assignment include:

– future transportation network requirements;

– Official Plan policies and schedule update;

– Development Charges Background Study projects;

– capital project prioritization 21;

– levels of service condition criteria;

– transportation services integration;

– road safety review;

– speed management analysis and criteria;

– intersection improvement assessment;

– urban area traffic review;

– a site specific traffic study on Wellington Road 46; and

– road policies and processes updates and compilation.

Once selected, the consultant team will undertake a Class Environmental Assessment (EA) in accordance with the master planning process for Municipal Class Environmental Assessments.

“It is expected that the consultant team will engage and involve staff from other county departments, Wellington OPP, local municipalities and other agencies. Public consultation will also be a requirement of the study, which is expected to take about a year to complete,” the report states.

While the staff report, approved by county council March 26, as recommended by the roads committee at its March 10 meeting, directs staff to proceed to issue a Request For Proposals for a consultant, councillor Andy Lennox, who chairs the roads committee noted the timing will be impacted by current COVID-19 restrictions.

“I think this is an important study,” Lennox told council. “I don’t think we’re probably going to get started on it right away under the circumstances, but it certainly is an important step in terms of defining where our needs for our roads our going to be, where it’s appropriate to facilitate lower traffic or speed and where it’s appropriate to do the other things.

“I look forward to your involvement in that process as we move forward. We’ll certainly need lots of input to come up with a good plan.”