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.
What is MUTCD?
The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) is a document of NATIONAL STANDARDS issued by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) of the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) to specify the standards by which traffic signs, road surface markings, and signals are designed, installed, and used.
These specifications include the shapes, colours, and fonts used in road markings and signs and the specifications to apply signage.
In the United States, all traffic control devices must legally conform to these standards. The manual is used by state and local agencies as well as private construction firms to ensure that the traffic control devices they use conform to the national standard.
The National Committee on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (NCUTCD) advises the FHWA on additions, revisions, and changes to the MUTCD.
The NATIONAL STANDARD for Canada:
The Transportation Association of Canada (TAC) publishes its own Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Canada for use by Canadian jurisdictions.
While it is not compulsory for use, most jurisdictions adhere to the consistent application of traffic signage, road surface markings and signals design, installation and application in accordance with MUTCD. Consistent signage use is known to enhance safety and driver compliance with regulation.
Although it serves a similar role to the FHWA MUTCD, it has been independently developed and has a number of key differences with its US counterpart, most notably the inclusion of bilingual (English/French) signage for jurisdictions such as New Brunswick and Ontario with significant anglophone and francophone population, and a heavier reliance on symbols rather than text legends. There are jurisdictions that require compliance with MUTCD by law.
The first MUTCD was released in 1935.
Does the City of Winnipeg conform to Canada's MUTCD's National Standards?
WiseUpWinnipeg advocates for the application known and established engineering and signage standards.
We advocate that MUTCD
should be enacted into Provincial law
as a requirement for all cities and municipalities in Manitoba.
Consistency and sound traffic management practices contribute to SAFETY and efficient traffic flows.
CITY REMOVES SPEED SIGNS - CLICK
WiseUpWinnipeg is a public advocacy group initiated by Todd Dube and other concerned Citizens to educate Winnipeggers on the facts of photo enforcement – including the false claim that the program has had a positive impact on safety in the City of Winnipeg. Over the years, their efforts have grown into the movement that it is today.
Further, WiseUpWinnipeg is here for productive sharing of news and information about traffic and parking engineering, signage, enforcement and promoting fair or lawful behaviour by the City of Winnipeg and the Province related to enforcement and exposing when this not done.
We are advocating for the Province of Manitoba (including the City of Winnipeg) to amend the HTA and City Bylaws to require compliance with National Traffic and Engineering standards (as outlined in MUTCD), including signage, application of the 85th percentile engineering principle and related standards as required by law in, for example, Ontario and elsewhere, but being ignored in Winnipeg.
This is, in the interest of true motoring SAFETY and efficient traffic flow.
Wise Up Winnipeg has openly disputed the photo-radar enforcement positions taken by the City and Province, showing rather that the program is a detriment to safety and is purely a revenue program.
By using Low Speed Thresholds, Inadequate Amber Times and Inadequate Signage, the program sets up motorists and produces “violations”.
Todd Dube is a Winnipeg businessman who now oversees the group along with Kevin Yaworski and a group of Administrators who all share the motivation to inform the public of the facts and history of photo radar enforcement.
Mr. Dube provided for the cost of the awareness placards. “To me photo-radar and similar unfair or unlawful enforcement represents more than just the cash-grab that it certainly is – it’s also symbolic of how far we’ve let our governments and bureaucracies run astray.
Our politicians and police should be ashamed of themselves for employing the word “safety” in their notional pursuit of fundraising from vehicle owners. We hope citizens wise up and question all aspects of this program including how it is that we listen endlessly to politicians talk about complexities, legislation and other obstructions that impede them from making real progress on issues, including real public safety issues, yet a few can get together on a Friday night and change the wording of the law so that not only can this fundraising scheme continue – it also doesn’t have to refund its ill-gotten gains.
We have been ignored by the establishment long enough and it’s time the public delivered the message that ignoring the facts is no longer an option. They cannot support their claim of improved safety, which is required for the programs’ continued existence and it’s time they answered on it.”
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