Traffic Engineering report prepared July 20th, 2017
This is an engineer's 35 page report outlining an analysis, discussion, evaluation and sound engineering practice for establishing amber light timing.
This report was created as a result of a Winnipeg citizen, a Mr Aisaican-Chase having received a photo enforcement ticket at the intersection of Bishop Grandin Blvd and River Road, in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada. The ticket alleged that Mr. Aisaican-Chase went through the light 0.2 seconds late.
REPORT INTRODUCTION: It was reported that, on October 16, 2015, Mr. Jim Aisaican-Chase was travelling westbound on Bishop Grandin Boulevard near its intersection with River Road. As he approached the intersection the traffic light he was facing changed from Green to Yellow.
Mr. Aisaican-Chase continued through the intersection at a constant speed of 80 km/h, and was issued a violation for entering the intersection facing a Red traffic signal.
It is understood that, within the City of Winnipeg, all Yellow traffic signals had a duration of 4.0 seconds. This was the case at all signalized intersections.
The posted speed limit range for intersections in Winnipeg was reportedly between 30 km/h and 80 km/h. The intersection at Bishop Grandin Boulevard & River Road had a posted speed limit of 80 km/h and was equipped with a Red light camera.
On June 19, 2017, Roar Engineering was retained to conduct an independent assessment of Mr. Aisaican-Chase’s traffic violation. Specifically, Roar Engineering was asked to comment on the appropriateness of a 4.0 second Yellow traffic signal duration, and whether or not Mr. Aisaican-Chase’s decision to proceed through the traffic signal was reasonable under the circumstances.
1. The ITE formula for Yellow traffic signal duration is based on the kinematic equations.
2. The speed of traffic on any given roadway is a distribution, not a discreet value.
3. Traffic on any particular roadway travels faster than the Posted Speed Limit. As such, the Design Speed (Posted Speed Limit + 10 km/h) is a more appropriate speed to use when calculating Yellow traffic signal durations.
4. The perception and response time of drivers responding to changing traffic signals is a distribution, not a discreet value.
5. The average driver requires at least 1.0 seconds to perceive and respond to a traffic signal which has changed from Green to Yellow. As such, at least 1.0 seconds should be used when calculating Yellow traffic signal durations.
6. Deceleration rates of vehicles as they approach a planned stop are a distribution, not a discreet value.
7. The average driver decelerates at a rate of 10 ft/s2 or less when approaching a planned stop, such as a Yellow traffic signal.
8. The approach grade for each intersection must be evaluated on an individual basis.
9. The recommended Yellow traffic signal duration for a roadway with a Posted Speed Limit of 80 km/h is 5.2 seconds.
10. A Dilemma Zone exists when the distance required to stop (including the perception and response) exceeds the distance travelled during the Yellow signal.
11. For the recommended Yellow traffic signal durations, no Dilemma Zone exists.
12. If the Yellow traffic signal duration was increased to 5.2 seconds from 4.0 seconds, 88 - 93% of the Red light violations would not have been issued at Bishop Grandin Boulevard & River Road.
13. Dilemma Zones exist for Yellow traffic signal durations of 4.0 seconds on roadways with Posted Speed Limits of 60 km/h or greater. R17R06031 Final Report Page 35 of 35
14. If a constant deceleration rate is required to stop for each different speed zone within the City of Winnipeg, the PRT required to stop decreases as the Posted Speed Limit increases. In the case of an 80 km/h speed zone, the PRT required becomes negative, meaning that the driver must anticipate the changing traffic signal and respond before it changes.
15. If different deceleration rates are required to stop for each different speed zone within the City of Winnipeg, they exceed the recommended 10 ft/s2 , and often exceed what a typical driver could accomplish given the variable weather conditions in Winnipeg.
16. Drivers decelerate at a higher rate when travelling at a higher speed. However, this effect does not justify the high decelerations required, in some cases as high as 13.7 ft/s2 .
17. The Yellow traffic signal duration should be revisited and modified to use the ITE formula in order to prevent severe vehicular collisions, specifically on roadways with Posted Speed Limits above 60 km/h.
18. Mr. Aisaican-Chase found himself within the Dilemma Zone, and could neither continue through the intersection nor decelerate at a reasonable rate without committing a violation.
19. In order to stop by decelerating at a reasonable rate, Mr. Aisaican-Chase would have had to perceive and respond to the changing traffic signal in 0.65 seconds, a duration approximately half that which would be expected of a typical, attentive driver.
20. The decision by Mr. Aisaican-Chase to proceed through the intersection at a constant speed of 80 km/h was reasonable and represented the safest option.
21. The deficient Yellow traffic signal duration on Bishop Grandin Boulevard & River Road was the largest contributor to Mr. Aisaican-Chase’s violation.
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Favorable decisions in court for the public can be relied upon by others here and elsewhere in Canada even if they do not set an obvious precedence in a higher court. They will lead to meaningful reforms.
So many people get multiple unfair or unlawful $300+ tickets for alleged traffic offenses. Then many are mislead by the Crown and or have their charter and other legal rights ignored in Court when they contest. This is an investment against more tickets like this and other unfair or unlawful treatment. Similar with many unfair or unlawful parking tickets where there is known issues with missing, obstructed or confusing signage.
WiseUpWinnipeg is a fast-growing group of 9100 + members who are dedicated to exposing the traffic and parking enforcement abuses that are unique to the City of Winnipeg. Our membership is doubling every 9 months or less as more and more are fed up with the behavior of their WPS and it's for profit partners TSS, ACS / Xerox as well as WPA and for profit partner G4S Tech. They are also fed up with the behavior of MPIC, Mayor Bowman, most of City Council and many of the elected and appointed officials at the Province who have the authority and responsibility to address these serious issues of public safety and interest that are being ignored at great cost to public safety and funds and priority of fighting serious crime.
The issues are many including 4.0 second amber policy regardless of the road speed – and therefore having the shortest amber times in Canada at higher speed intersections where they net 800% more red light violations than the slower speed intersections where 4.0 seconds is adequate. Besides breaking the laws of physics for stopping a vehicle at speed – the results are in their own data – higher violations as well as the chronic collisions that result from the short amber time itself.
Not posting speed limits at the proper and known 85th percentile that the road was designed to prudently travel at– and targeting enforcement to those specific deficient stretches, for decades.
Not dual-posting (boulevard and curb) speed- reduction signage, which is the standard practice in all other cities – and targeting their enforcement to locations of speed-drops where drivers don’t have fair and reasonable awareness of same due to non compliance with MUTCD (Manual For Uniform Traffic Controls and Devices) which is a national standard.
Creating an illegal Know Your Zone residential snow removal ban that afforded the City to ticket and tow vehicles – while not have signage erect at these locations - which is not only the law but was the practice before KYZ was created.
Creating Designated Construction Zones which were implemented illegally and unfairly enforced with inadequate signage.
On top of all of these abuses – the fines are 250% higher than the average of all other provinces. The city and province have refused to even acknowledge these facts since we began advancing them 8 years ago. WiseUpWinnipeg has only had success at righting these wrongs once matters were advanced into the court and usually through the appeal process following the judicial failure known as Manitoba Traffic Court. Case in hand being the Know Your Zone program – which saw the illegalities presented to the city and province as well as in Traffic Court. The result was a total ignoring by the elected and bureaucrats – and a conviction at court. Only in the appeal process did the city and province drop the case and then later admit – following media stories - that the KYZ program was illegal. They voided the few tickets that hadn’t yet been paid while refusing to properly refund all others on the basis that people accepted guilt by paying.
These are only a few reasons why we are swelling with passionate and angry members - regular people who refuse to hand over another paycheque to abusive, unfair and illegal enforcement that is unique to Winnipeg. With their refusal to engage the facts – we will proceed to court on all of these issues including having trial dates now set in 2017 for the illegal amber timing issue, the Designated Construction Zones and Know Your Zone program.
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See Court Actions for more details and links to media coverage.
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