With traffic volumes rising every year, the City of Martensville is drawing on public input to help map out a Master Transportation Plan (MTP) to accommodate future growth.
Weekday traffic counts conducted last month at 21 locations along the city’s main arterial and collector roads showed heavy volumes in several key areas of the city.
An average of 12,760 vehicles per day are using the stretch of Centennial Drive north of the intersection with Main Street, making it the busiest roadway in the city limits.
The average daily vehicle count on Highway 12 south of Martensville is 14,710. North of the exit to Martensville at Main Street, however, the daily average Highway 12 vehicle count drops to 11,145. The average vehicle count on Lutheran Road, Martensville’s most southerly entrance and exit to Highway 12, is 3,900 vehicles.
An open house is slated for Saturday, October 8 at the North Ridge Centennial Community Centre (NRCCC) in Martensville to gather public input on what the future transportation network in the city should look like. The event is also aimed at providing information on current traffic patterns, and hearing residents’ concerns about specific issues related to speeding, signage and crosswalks.
The public can also provide comments over the coming weeks through an online survey accessible through the City of Martensville’s website at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/TMPMartensville.
Martensville Director of Planning and Infrastructure Joe Doxey said the transportation plan is part of the city’s comprehensive future growth strategy.
“This is related to the Future Growth Plan we did last year,” said Doxey in an interview on Friday, October 7. “Part of that study recommended a series of further studies to get a better handle on the type of infrastructure that might be needed in the future.”
The city is looking not just at transportation, but also recreation and community services, and the water and wastewater systems. Recommendations from all the studies are slated to be released in 2017 and 2018.
The traffic study conducted last month by consulting engineers WSP/MMM Group provides baseline numbers for different areas of the city and surrounding region, said Doxey.
“The objective of the traffic study was to determine how much traffic is being generated by existing neighborhoods,” he said. “In other words, how much traffic can we expect for a certain number of dwelling units, or for a certain type of land use such as a commercial or industrial area.
“On the basis of this data, we should be able to calculate what intersections will need traffic lights and what roads will need traffic calming measures, for example,” he added. “There is a standard model that municipalities use to make those calls.”
Doxey said as the city grows, new streets can be designed with the appropriate traffic control systems to accommodate expected volumes. The cost of that infrastructure can then be included in the initial costs of the development, rather than putting an extra burden on existing taxpayers.
However, he noted, there will likely be changes needed in core areas of the city as well.
“Part of the purpose of this current study is to identify areas where there is congestion or conflict points that need amending,” said Doxey. “For instance, the intersection of Third Street and Centennial Drive is scheduled for traffic lights; but we also need to figure out what measures will be needed for the intersection of 5th Avenue North and 3rd Street North.
“Another problem area might be 6th Avenue South and Main Street. It’s an off-set intersection at the rink that has a lot of foot traffic.
“We’re looking for residents’ feedback and recommendations on specific problem areas that they see.”
The transportation study is also exploring future options for the city’s walking and bicycle pathways that connect parks and green spaces within city limits.
Nathan Gray of WSP/MMM Group said the first open house event, as well as the online survey, are aimed at gathering essential input from residents. A second open house, likely in January, will incorporate residents’ suggestions in a series of recommendations to Martensville city council.
“Right now what we want to do is provide information to the public,” said Gray. “It’s still very early in the process, but we have the results of the traffic study, so people can see the traffic volumes and patterns.”
Gray said while the primary target for the survey is residents of Martensville, he stressed that it is looking for input from people throughout the region.
“Anyone who drives in and out of Martensville on a regular basis obviously can provide comments that can help us with this study,” he said.
Doxey said the overall objective is to provide “consistency and predictability” for motorists and pedestrians in and around the city with regard to signage, speed limits, and other traffic control measures.
The complete transportation study, approved by council in the budget for this year, will cost $83,160.