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					GATEWAY PROGRAM                                             PROGRAM LEVEL
Improving roads & bridges for people, goods and transit
throughout Greater Vancouver




           LANE ALLOCATION POSITION PAPER



    TRAFFIC & PLANNING




Final                                                     P R OGR AM E NGI NE E R
February 6, 2006
Traffic & Planning
                                                                              LANE ALLOCATION REPORT




                  EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
                  The Gateway Program was established by the Province in response to the impact of
                  growing regional congestion, and to improve the movement of people, goods and
                  transit throughout Greater Vancouver. The Program encompasses three corridors—
                  Highway 1, North Fraser Perimeter Road (NFPR), South Fraser Perimeter Road
                  (SFPR).

                  Gateway road and bridge improvements will add capacity to the regional road
                  network; a significant portion of this new capacity will address existing deficiencies
                  and reduce congestion throughout the Lower Mainland, thereby fulfilling several of the
                  immediate goals for the Program. In conjunction with network enhancements that are
                  planned by other agencies, the Gateway Program will help to create a comprehensive
                  and integrated multi-modal transportation network that facilitates economic growth,
                  addresses congestion and provides more travel choices for Lower Mainland
                  residents.

                  Lane Allocation
                   ‘Lane Allocation’ refers to the practice of implementing operational strategies and
                  design features that support the designation or allocation of traffic lanes for the use of
                  specific vehicle types or user groups. The concept reflects the desire to provide travel
                  time advantages to a selected user group due to their economic significance, people-
                  moving efficiency, or attributes that mitigate environmental impacts (e.g. alternate
                  fuels, low/zero emissions).

                  Two strategies, high occupancy vehicle (HOV) priority and ramp metering, are
                  currently in use in the Lower Mainland. Their implementation by the Ministry of
                  Transportation acknowledges findings from regional planning initiatives, including the
                  Livable Region Strategic Plan (LRSP) and Transport 2021, which identified the need
                  to create a more cost effective and environmentally sustainable transportation system.

                  Meeting Current Needs
                  Current needs have been assessed based on previous studies, new traffic data, and
                  analysis of levels of service, collision data and speed-and-delay surveys. Using input
                  from further consultation with the public, industry and other agencies, these needs will
                  continue to be evaluated and addressed as planning for the Gateway Program
                  continues.

                  Assessing Future Needs
                  In order to provide improvements that address current needs as well as projected
                  future growth, extensive traffic modeling has been undertaken. This work takes into
                  consideration forecast transportation demand through to 2031, to ensure that the
                  proposed improvements to the regional road network contribute to a comprehensive
                  and enduring solution. Ensuring system sustainability requires continuing action to
                  encourage greater use of alternatives to the single occupant vehicle (SOV) as well as
                  to improve the effectiveness of congestion reduction strategies. The Gateway
                  Program is committed to continuing to work with TransLink and area municipalities to
                  meet Ministry objectives and address community needs.

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                  Responding to Evolving Needs
                  Lane allocation measures are a flexible and readily adjusted set of tools to address a
                  range of policy objectives. The future will doubtless bring new and changing demands
                  on our regional highway system. The Gateway Program lane allocation strategy will
                  also need the flexibility to evolve over time, to ensure that it remains responsive to
                  regional transportation needs and priorities. Over the past decade, regional initiatives
                  have identified a desire to shift travel demand from SOVs to more sustainable
                  transportation modes (such as carpools and transit) and to facilitate the movement of
                  goods. The initial Gateway Program lane allocation strategy will be configured to
                  support these objectives. In the longer term, as these objectives are realized, and as
                  transportation policy and our economy evolve, it is conceivable that other objectives
                  (e.g. maximizing people-moving capacity; maintaining acceptable levels of service for
                  goods movement or transit, etc.) may dictate adjustments to the initial lane allocation
                  strategy. As a result, the initial strategy will need to provide sufficient flexibility to
                  accommodate future enhancements and adjustments to the lane allocation scheme.

                  Application
                  The fundamental objective of lane allocation is to provide an advantage, in the form of
                  travel time savings or improved trip reliability to specific user groups. Within the
                  Gateway corridors, study findings indicate that the lane allocation strategy must
                  feature the following attributes:

                  •   Provide priority to high occupancy vehicles, with specific attention to transit
                      requirements;
                  •   Provide features to support and facilitate efficient goods movement; and
                  •   Provide a means to directly manage traffic demand, as a way to limit growth
                      in traffic and improve the attractiveness of alternate modes over time.
                  The following strategies are, therefore, reflected in the Gateway Program’s pre-design
                  concepts:

                  •   High occupancy vehicle lanes;
                  •   Site-specific truck priority (ramps or access); and
                  •   Ramp metering, with bypass lanes (queue jumpers) for priority users such as
                      transit, commercial vehicles, HOVs etc.
                  High occupancy/toll (HOT) lanes and dedicated commercial vehicle lanes were
                  evaluated as part of this study but, based on findings to-date, are considered not
                  suitable for application as part of the Gateway Program at this time. The degree to
                  which the above strategies are applicable to each of the three corridors will vary as
                  follows:

                  Highway 1
                  •   HOV priority features will be provided for Highway 1. Initially, the existing
                      HOV lanes will be extended to Langley in both travel directions. Potential
                      queue jumpers at 152nd Street and/or 160th Street on-ramps to westbound



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                      Highway 1 will be part of the initial works. Additional features will be
                      considered for later implementation as HOV usage increases.
                  •   Ramp metering will be considered in order to provide additional advantages
                      to HOVs and provide a mechanism for smoothing the flow of traffic onto the
                      highway. Metering will be considered for early implementation at ramps
                      where transit service or high HOV usage is anticipated and/or where it is
                      deemed beneficial for merging operations.
                  •   New ramps to/from major industrial areas, truck-friendly geometry on ramps
                      and the mainline and operational/design improvements at interchanges
                      throughout Highway 1 will greatly enhance accessibility and efficiency for
                      goods movement in this corridor. Site-specific truck accommodation features
                      will be incorporated into the Gateway corridors, particularly in areas near
                      major industrial sites such as the Port of Vancouver, Still Creek, Pacific
                      Reach/United Boulevard and Port Kells, as well as at regional roads that
                      connect to key goods movement corridors such as Highway 15.
                  •   The implementation of a regional Advanced Traveler Information System
                      (ATIS) and enhanced Incident Management capabilities (in conjunction with
                      others) will help to ensure that all travelers have access to reliable real-time
                      information about traffic conditions and that incident-related delay is
                      minimized on key transportation corridors. Examples of such technologies
                      include dynamic message signs, closed-circuit cameras, and vehicle
                      detectors.
                  North Fraser Perimeter Road (NFPR)
                  •   HOV priority features will be provided for the NFPR as part of a future HOV
                      network that provides HOV lanes on surrounding municipal and regional
                      roads.
                  •   Ramp metering at future interchanges will be considered to manage high
                      traffic demand forecast for the medium- to long-term; HOV bypass lanes on
                      metered ramps will also be considered.
                  •   In the short term, the extension of the third westbound lane on Highway 7
                      from Harris Road to Maple Meadows Way will benefit commercial vehicle
                      operations due to the increased capacity. Additionally, truck-friendly
                      geometry and new interchanges will further facilitate goods movement in this
                      corridor. As with Highway 1, it is envisioned that truck priority features along
                      the NFPR will work in conjunction with truck-oriented features on the
                      surrounding regional and local road network.
                  South Fraser Perimeter Road (SFPR)
                  Because SFPR is being designed as a major goods movement corridor, it will provide
                  improved access and connections to the following corridors and industrial areas:

                  •   Highway 1;
                  •   Highway 15;
                  •   Highway 99;
                  •   Nordel Way;


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                  •   CN Intermodal Yard ;
                  •   Highway 91 (Alex Fraser Bridge);
                  •   Bridgeview (130 Street intersection);
                  •   Fraser/Surrey Docks (Tannery Road interchange);
                  •   Emerging South Westminster industrial area (near south approaches to
                      Pattullo Bridge);
                  •   Tilbury and Sunbury Industrial Areas (80th and 72nd Street intersections); and
                  •   Deltaport.
                  New interchanges and new/re-designed intersections, combined with truck-
                  friendly geometry throughout the corridor, will greatly enhance the accessibility of
                  industrial areas along the Fraser River in Surrey and Delta.

                  The features enumerated above for all three Gateway corridors are based on
                  analysis completed to-date and are subject to change based on input from on-
                  going consultation with industry, local and regional agencies, and the general
                  public, as well as additional technical and financial analysis as the Program
                  proceeds.




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          TABLE OF CONTENTS


                  1.   INTRODUCTION ....................................................................................7
                  2.   LANE ALLOCATION..............................................................................7
                       2.1        Potential Benefits .......................................................................7
                       2.2        Strategies ...................................................................................8
                       2.3        Regional Context .......................................................................8
                       2.4        Current and Future Needs .........................................................8
                  3.   EVALUATION OF OPTIONS ...............................................................10
                       3.1        HOV Priority .............................................................................10
                                  3.1.1 Concept.......................................................................10
                                  3.1.2 Discussion...................................................................11
                                  3.1.3 Application ..................................................................13
                       3.2        Ramp Metering ........................................................................14
                                  3.2.1 Concept.......................................................................14
                                  3.2.2 Discussion...................................................................15
                                  3.2.3 Application ..................................................................16
                       3.3        Commercial Vehicle Priority.....................................................17
                                  3.3.1 Concept.......................................................................17
                                  3.3.2 Discussion...................................................................19
                                  3.3.3 Application ..................................................................21
                       3.4        High Occupancy/Toll (HOT) Lanes..........................................25
                                  3.4.1       Concept.......................................................................25
                                  3.4.2       Discussion...................................................................26
                                  3.4.3       Application ..................................................................27
                  4.   CONCLUSION ......................................................................................27




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          1.      INTRODUCTION
                  The Gateway Program was established by the Province in response to the impact of
                  growing regional congestion, and to improve the movement of people, goods and
                  transit throughout Greater Vancouver. The Program encompasses three corridors—
                  Highway 1, North Fraser Perimeter Road (NFPR), South Fraser Perimeter Road
                  (SFPR)—and proposes a set of improvements
                  for each.

                  Gateway road and bridge improvements will
                  add capacity to the regional road network; a
                  significant portion of this new capacity will
                  address existing deficiencies and reduce
                  congestion throughout the Lower Mainland,
                  thereby fulfilling several of the immediate goals
                  for the Program. In conjunction with network
                  enhancements that are planned by other
                  agencies, the Gateway Program will help to
                  create a comprehensive and integrated multi-
                  modal transportation network that facilitates
                  economic growth, addresses congestion and
                  provides more travel choices for Lower
                  Mainland residents.                                           Vancouver Traffic

          2.      LANE ALLOCATION
                   ‘Lane Allocation’ refers to the practice of implementing operational strategies and
                  design features that support the designation or allocation of traffic lanes for the use of
                  specific vehicle types or user groups. The concept reflects the desire to provide travel
                  time advantages to a selected user group due to their economic significance, people-
                  moving efficiency or attributes that mitigate environmental impacts (e.g. alternate
                  fuels, low/zero emissions).

          2.1     Potential Benefits
                  Lane allocation could provide a wide range of benefits for individual travelers,
                  including:

                  •   For designated users, higher quality of travel (e.g. less delay, higher speed);
                  •   For designated users, more reliable trip times; and
                  •   More transportation choices (e.g. transit, carpools).

                  From a regional perspective, lane allocation provides a way to:

                  •   Meet regional sustainability goals by managing the use of additional capacity;
                  •   Influence mobility behaviour by encouraging the use of more efficient modes
                      of travel;
                  •   Achieve regional economic goals by facilitating economically relevant trips;
                      and

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                  •   Mitigate the environmental impact of regional travel (e.g. reduced roadway
                      footprint, fewer vehicle emissions, and lower fuel consumption).

          2.2     Strategies
                  In general, lane allocation strategies work in one of three ways:

                  •   impose user eligibility requirements;
                  •   physically limit access;
                  •   charge a user fee.
                  The fundamental objective of lane allocation is
                  to provide an advantage, in the form of travel
                  time savings or improved trip reliability, to
                  specific user groups. This is accomplished by
                  implementing      roadway      features      and
                  operational schemes that effectively separate
                  selected users from the general traffic stream
                  and provide them with higher quality travel.
                                                                         Lane Allocation Applications
          2.3     Regional Context
                  Over the past 15 years, various provincial and regional planning agencies have
                  developed strategies and policies related to growth and development in the Lower
                  Mainland. The development of infrastructure, specifically the transportation network,
                  has been discussed and studied extensively; the following studies, in particular, are
                  relevant to the Lane Allocation Report:
                  •   Transport 2021 [Greater Vancouver Regional District (GVRD)/Province of
                      BC, 1993]
                  •   Traffic Management Plan Master Plan [BC Ministry of Transportation (MoT),
                      1994]
                  •   HOV Network Study [MoT,1995]
                  •   Livable Regional Strategic Plan [GVRD, 1996]
                  •   HOV Network Plan and Implementation Strategy [BC Transportation
                      Financing Authority, 1997]
                  Two strategies, HOV priority and ramp metering, are currently in use in the Lower
                  Mainland. Their implementation by the Ministry of Transportation acknowledges
                  findings from regional planning initiatives, including the Livable Region Strategic Plan
                  (LRSP) and Transport 2021, which identified the need to create a more cost effective
                  and environmentally sustainable transportation system.

          2.4     Current and Future Needs
                  Meeting Current Needs
                  Current needs have been assessed based on earlier studies, new traffic data, and
                  analysis of levels of service, collision data and speed-and-delay surveys. Using input
                  from further consultation with the public, industry and other agencies, these needs will

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                  continue to be evaluated and addressed as planning for the Gateway Program
                  continues.

                  Assessing Future Needs
                  In order to provide improvements that address current needs as well as projected
                  future growth, extensive traffic modeling has been undertaken. This work takes into
                  consideration forecast transportation demand through to 2031, to ensure that the
                  proposed improvements contribute to a comprehensive and enduring solution.
                  Ensuring system sustainability requires continuing action to encourage greater use of
                  alternatives to the SOV as well as improving the effectiveness of congestion reduction
                  strategies. The Gateway Program is committed to continuing to work with TransLink
                  and area municipalities to meet Ministry objectives and address community needs.

                  Responding to Evolving Needs
                  The Gateway Program road and bridge improvements are designed to be a long-lived
                  set of improvements which will serve the needs of our region for many years.
                  However, over time, the demands on this infrastructure will doubtless see major
                  changes. Thus, the Gateway Program Lane Allocation strategy will need to evolve
                  over time, to ensure that our roads and bridges remain responsive to regional,
                  provincial, and national transportation needs and priorities.

                  In recent years, regional initiatives have identified the need to shift travel demand from
                  single occupant vehicles to more sustainable transportation modes (such as carpools
                  and transit) and facilitate the movement of goods. Consequently, the initial lane
                  allocation strategy might focus on features that enhance the attractiveness of alternate
                  modes by providing their users with substantive travel time advantages. Over the
                  longer term as the nature of travel demand changes, regional policy focus may shift to
                  other policy priorities (e.g. maximizing people-moving capacity, or the maintenance of
                  acceptable levels of service for goods movement). As a result, the anticipated lane
                  allocation strategy may need to be adjusted— to include, for instance, elements that
                  more strongly encourage the use of alternate modes and optimize the operational
                  efficiency of the corridor.




                                   Transportation Options: buses, vanpools and cycling




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              3.      EVALUATION OF OPTIONS
                      The implementation of any operational strategy requires careful consideration of a
                      wide range of issues, including inter-agency cooperation and coordination, public
                      acceptance, enabling legislation, enforcement, and maintenance. The remainder of
                      this section discusses the various strategies (what they are, how they work) and their
                      suitability for use within the Gateway corridors. Additionally, discussion is provided
                      about some of the significant issues specific to each strategy.

          3.1         HOV Priority
                      3.1.1    Concept
                      In accordance with current usage in the Lower Mainland, a high occupancy vehicle
                      (HOV) is defined as one that carries at least two people; these include carpools,
                      vanpools and transit vehicles. The purpose of HOV priority facilities is to provide
                      advantages to HOV users in the form of travel time savings and more predictable trip
                      durations. The intent is to encourage more travelers to travel in HOVs, by making
                      HOV travel more attractive, rather than single occupancy driving. Many of the existing
                      HOV priority facilities have one or more of the three common objectives1:

                      •   Increase the average number of persons per vehicle;
                      •   Preserve the person-movement capacity of the roadway;
                      •   Enhance bus/transit operations.
                      Compared to a single occupant vehicle, an HOV is generally deemed            to be a more
                      efficient (therefore, more desirable) mode of transportation because          it maximizes
                      person-movement in a corridor while minimizing the environmental              impact. This
                      impact is manifested in terms of fuel consumption, vehicle emissions,        and roadway
                      footprint.

                      There are various types of HOV priority facilities; these are among the most common
                      types:

                      •   HOV Priority Lanes
                      •   HOV Bypass Lanes at Metered Highway
                          On-Ramps / Queue Jumpers
                      •   Busways
                      •   Direct Access Ramps
                      •   Transit Centres
                      •   Park and Ride Lots
                                                                               HOV Priority Facilities: (clockwise
                                                                               from top left) HOV lane sign; Park
                                                                               and Ride facility sign; HOV lane
          1   Freeway Management and Operations Handbook, U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway
               Administration, September 2003.
               http://www.ops.fhwa.dot.gov/freewaymgmt/freeway_mgmt_handbook/chapter8_01.htm



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                      The first two are described in greater detail below:

                      HOV Priority Lanes are typically located alongside general purpose (GP) lanes on a
                      limited access highway and are reserved for the exclusive use of HOVs. Concurrent
                      lanes facilitate the movement of HOVs in the same direction as the GP lanes while
                      contraflow (or counterflow) lanes move HOVs in the opposing direction. Additionally,
                      HOV lanes may be reversible or bi-directional; reversible operation is advantageous in
                      corridors where peak period traffic is very directional. HOV lanes are typically
                      separated from GP lanes with concrete barriers (stationary or moveable) or a buffer
                      space that is delineated with paint stripes and supplementary devices such as tubular
                      markers, cones, or pylons. On limited access highways, HOV lanes are most
                      commonly situated closest to the median (i.e. the innermost lane); on arterial
                      roadways, where curbside bus stops exist, HOV lanes may be located in the
                      outermost lane.

                      An HOV Bypass Lane at a Metered Ramp is a separate lane situated alongside the
                      GP lane on a highway on-ramp and is reserved for the exclusive use of HOVs. The
                      lane allows HOVs to enter the highway without stopping at the meter (traffic signal);
                      on ramps where the bypass lane is also metered, HOVs enter the highway with less
                      delay than metered GP traffic. “Queue jumper” lanes which allow HOVs to bypass GP
                      traffic on arterial routes leading to the highway, provide a similar advantage.

                      3.1.2     Discussion
                      The key issues to consider when evaluating the feasibility of HOV priority features are
                      maximizing utilization and transit services.

                      Traditionally, priority features were provided for the sole benefit of a single user group
                      with a very specific attribute. In the case of HOV lanes, access is granted only to
                      vehicles that meet or exceed the specified occupancy level; this generally includes
                      carpools, vanpools and transit vehicles. In recent years, the concept of high priority
                      vehicles or HPVs has been applied in some jurisdictions to expand the number of
                      user groups allowed to use priority features on highways and arterial roads. Examples
                      include the I-66 in Virginia, where the requirement for three passengers in HOVs was
                      modified to allow two-passenger HOVs; this change resulted in a 60% increase in
                      HOV lane usage. In Georgia, vehicles classified by the U.S. Environmental Protection
                      Agency (EPA) as Inherently Low Emission Vehicles (ILEVs) are permitted to use the
                      HOV lanes. In California, legislation passed in August 2005 allows low emission
                      hybrid vehicles (rated by the EPA to provide at least 45 mpg) to use HOV priority
                      facilities.2

                      HPV is, therefore, a more generic term that is used to describe a vehicle that meets at
                      least one of a number of requirements, in accordance with priorities established by the
                      road owner. In defining a strategy for providing travel time advantages to HOVs on the
                      Gateway Program corridors, it may be beneficial to consider allowing other user
                      groups, such as heavy commercial vehicles, to also use the priority features either
                      simultaneously or alternately.

          2   California Defines Rules for Hybrid Electric/Gas Vehicles on Web Site, Government Technology, August 2005.
               http://www.govtech.net/magazine/channel_story.php/96395



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                      Maximizing Utilization
                      There is general public support for HOV lanes. However, skeptics will typically point
                      to the apparent under-utilization of the HOV lane, and on-going congestion in the
                      adjacent general purpose lane, as an indication that the reserved lane would best
                      meet the area’s traffic needs if it were open to all traffic.3 It is, therefore, important to
                      develop a plan to encourage the utilization of the HOV lanes, particularly in the initial
                      stages, when HOV use is still growing.

                      In the United States, where most of the
                      mature HOV networks are located, road
                      authorities have implemented both
                      revenue-generating and non-revenue-
                      generating schemes in an effort to improve
                      the     utilization   of     HOV       lanes.
                      Transportation authorities in metropolitan
                      areas in California, Texas and Minnesota
                      have converted some of their HOV lanes
                      to high-occupancy/toll (HOT) lanes (see
                      also Section 3.4); such a facility makes
                      available to toll-paying SOV drivers the
                      option to use the HOV lanes to bypass
                      congestion. Further discussion of this
                      concept is presented later in this report.                  Highway 1 HOV Lane

                      In adopting measures to improve the use of HOV lanes, care must be taken to ensure
                      that travel time advantages for specific priority users can be maintained. Otherwise,
                      the ability of the HOV lanes to promote the use of alternate modes of transportation,
                      such as carpools and transit, will be compromised. In Texas, the I-10 Katy Freeway
                      was originally built as an expressway for transit and HOV8+ (vanpools); it was
                      subsequently changed to allow HOV2+. In recent years, however, the volume of
                      HOV2+ users had increased significantly; and consequently, in order to restore travel
                      time advantages and improve transit reliability, occupancy requirements were
                      changed again. Only HOV3+ are allowed (toll-free) in the HOV lanes during the
                      busiest portion of the peak period; with the subsequent conversion to HOT lanes, toll-
                      paying HOV2+ are now also allowed.4

                      Transit Services
                      Another strategy to maximize the utilization of HOV lanes is the introduction of
                      frequent transit service. Experience with very mature HOV lanes in Texas indicates
                      that even with increasing congestion, there is a limit on growth in HOV lane use by
                      carpools or vanpools. Although the market for HOV lane use is theoretically large, it
                      appears that there is a relatively small segment of the traveling public that has the

          3
              High Occupancy Vehicle System Development in the United States (A White Paper), D. L. Christiansen, Texas
               Transportation Institute, US Department of Transportation, December 1990.
          4   Houston Managed Lanes Case Study: The Evolution of the Houston HOV System, U.S. Department of
               Transportation Federal Highway Administration, September 2003.
               http://www.ops.fhwa.dot.gov/docs/Houston/



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                      flexibility or willingness to use HOVs. It is estimated that after the first three to four
                      years of service, growth in the use of the HOV lane is likely to subside.5

                      It has been noted that ‘the most successful HOV facilities carry significant bus transit
                      volumes and passengers, enhance transit level of service, and extend the reach of
                      transit into low density areas. Furthermore, HOV facilities must exist within a network
                      that includes supporting infrastructure and services.6 For the Gateway Program, this
                      could translate to the need for connecting HOV lanes from the municipal and regional
                      road network; ‘park and ride’ or ‘park and pool’ lots that support transit service to/from
                      low density areas; and new transit routes. Programs that encourage the use of
                      HOVs, including on-going marketing, effective enforcement and carpool
                      registration/incentives would also help increase HOV use.




                                     Heavy Commercial Vehicles in Mixed Traffic Flow (Vancouver)

                      3.1.3     Application
                      Based on the Ministry’s earlier work and on findings from this report, HOV priority
                      features will be incorporated as part of the Gateway Program. The degree to which a
                      HOV priority strategy is applicable to each of the three corridors varies as follows:

                       Highway 1        HOV priority features will be enhanced on Highway 1. Analysis
                                        indicates that the type of priority feature best suited to the corridor
                                        will likely evolve over time. Thus, in the short term, the Gateway
                                        Program will focus on expanding HOV facilities to strengthen the
                                        attractiveness of this travel choice and over time will adjust these
                                        as needed to preserve and strengthen the travel time
                                        advantages available to HOV users while optimizing overall
                                        system efficiency.
                                        •    It is currently contemplated that the Gateway Program will
                                             include mainline HOV lanes in both directions between First
                                             Avenue in Vancouver and 200 Street in Langley. HOV
                                             queue jumper facilities at selected locations will provide
                                             further incentive for car-pooling and transit use. In order to

          5
              The ABCs of HOV – The Texas Experience, Report 1353-1, Project No. 0-1353, Texas Department of
               Transportation.
          6   Success Factors and Decision Issues for High Occupancy Vehicle Facilities, Joseph Shofer and Edward
               Czepiel, November 1999. Received electronic version directly from author.



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                                       maximize utilization of the mainline HOV lanes, the Program
                                       will evaluate opportunities to provide or support related
                                       facilities and services (e.g. park and ride, bus routes) as part
                                       of a comprehensive integrated effort with regional and local
                                       agencies to increase usage of carpools and transit on
                                       Highway 1.
                                  •    Depending on the success of these HOV facilities in
                                       reducing SOV use, queue jumper lanes and other priority
                                       features that provide further advantages to HOV users may
                                       be expanded at some future date.

                   NFPR           HOV priority features will be implemented on the NFPR as part of
                                  a future HOV network that includes HOV lanes on surrounding
                                  municipal and regional roads.

                   SFPR           HOV priority features are not likely to be required on the SFPR.
                                  Forecasts for traffic demand on this new facility indicate
                                  acceptable levels of service for HOV and heavy commercial
                                  vehicles through to 2021-2031; however, changes in trip patterns
                                  and actual traffic volumes may subsequently influence the need
                                  for priority features.

                  TransLink’s service plan for the area that includes Surrey and Langley indicates that
                  there is a strong desire to provide transit service across the Port Mann Bridge.
                  However, TransLink has identified the need for some type of transit priority feature on
                  the approaches to the bridge to facilitate transit movements and ensure service
                  reliability. The Gateway Program will continue to work closely with TransLink to
                  implement features that support the development of transit services on Highway 1.

          3.2     Ramp Metering
                  3.2.1   Concept
                  Ramp meters are traffic signals that
                  operate at entrances (i.e. on-ramps) to
                  limited access roadways. Ramp
                  metering is used to regulate the number
                  of vehicles entering a freeway for the
                  purpose of reducing mainline congestion
                  due to excessive demand and/or
                  improving the safety of the merging
                  operation.    In     conjunction     with
                  implementation of HOV priority facilities,
                  ramp metering is now also used to
                  provide     additional    travel     time      Mary Hill Bypass to Highway 1 on-ramp
                  advantages to HOV users for whom a            ramp meter




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                      bypass lane is available; the lane allows HOV users to enter the highway with little or
                      no delay because the lane is either not metered or is metered at a less restrictive rate
                      than that for the SOV.7

                      Improved safety can be achieved by staggering the rate at which vehicles join the
                      traffic stream on the mainline of the freeway; the meter effectively breaks up platoons
                      of vehicles that are released from nearby signalized intersections, for example, prior to
                      entering the freeway. The elimination of platoons generally results in smoother
                      merging operations and fewer potential conflicts between merging vehicles and those
                      that are already on the mainline.

                      3.2.2      Discussion
                      Ramp metering, by itself, is primarily a traffic management tool rather than a lane
                      allocation strategy. However, it is discussed here as an operational element that can
                      be used to support a lane allocation strategy that provides advantages to priority users
                      such as HOVs or commercial vehicles. There are a number of issues that need to be
                      considered in the development of a ramp metering strategy. Key considerations are:

                      Diversion
                      Driver response to ramp metering may involve some form of diversion Properly
                      directed and accommodated, such response is generally deemed acceptable and
                      contributes to the efficient utilization of the transportation network. When a ramp is
                      metered, traffic may be diverted temporally, so that trips are shifted to a less busy time
                      of day; spatially, so that trips are diverted onto less congested alternate routes; or in
                      terms of mode, such that trips are shifted onto alternate modes of transportation, like
                      transit or carpools.

                      Temporal diversion can result in more efficient use of available infrastructure. Rather
                      than adding more capacity to accommodate a big surge of traffic during peak periods,
                      available capacity will be better utilized over several hours of the day. Spatial diversion
                      can be useful if underutilized parallel roads exist in the surrounding road network.
                      Diversion to alternate modes may also occur, if attractive services and facilities are
                      readily available.

                      On-Ramp Storage Space
                      During peak periods, metering operation will most likely mean that vehicles will be
                      queued on the ramp. Sufficient storage space, either on the ramp or on the
                      approaches to the ramp, is required to ensure that the queue has no or minimal
                      impact on the adjacent road network. Otherwise, queue overflow could result in
                      blocked accesses/driveways or delays on approach roads.




          7   Report on the Suitability of High Occupancy Vehicle Lanes in the Greater Vancouver Regional District, I.
               Fisher, Transport 2000 BC, May 1997.



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                  High Priority Vehicles
                  As noted above, HPVs may be defined to include
                  HOVs and several other user groups who meet
                  requirements defined by the road owner; for example,
                  low emission vehicles, alternate fuel vehicles or
                  commercial vehicles. Bypass lanes, as described
                  above, may be used to provide priority access to
                  HPVs like HOVs, as well as heavy commercial
                  vehicles.

                  3.2.3    Application
                  Ramp metering will be incorporated in the Gateway
                  Program as appropriate to maintain efficient merging
                  operations and protect mainline capacity. Where
                  sufficient utilization is anticipated, bypass lanes will be
                  provided to allow designated users to bypass the
                  meter and enter the highway with little or no delay.
                  Metering is appropriate only on limited access
                  highways, where access is provided only at
                  interchanges. The degree to which a ramp metering
                  strategy is applicable to each of the three Gateway           Ramp Metering Signal at the
                  Program corridors varies as follows:                           Mary Hill Bypass on-ramp


                   Highway 1        Ramp metering will be considered for Highway 1, particularly for
                                    ramps with significant HOV/transit use and where merging
                                    operations need to be improved. Where localized spatial
                                    diversion is anticipated and deemed undesirable, adjacent
                                    ramps may be metered as well.

                                    •    Upon completion of the twinned Port Mann Bridge, ramps
                                         in the immediate vicinity of the bridge will be considered
                                         for metering to ensure that transit vehicles, specifically, are
                                         provided priority access into the highway via bypass lanes;
                                         for example, at the 152 Street or 160 Street on-ramps to
                                         westbound Highway 1.
                                    •    Ultimately, ramp metering may be considered for all entry
                                         ramps onto westbound Highway 1 between First Avenue in
                                         Vancouver and 216 Street in Langley; and all entry ramps
                                         onto eastbound Highway 1 between First Avenue in
                                         Vancouver and Brunette Avenue in Coquitlam.
                   NFPR            Ramp metering will be considered for the NFPR when it
                                   becomes a limited access highway with interchanges. As a first
                                   priority, metering will be considered for early implementation at
                                   ramps where transit service or high HOV usage is anticipated
                                   and/or where it is deemed beneficial for merging operations. As
                                   with Highway 1, metering of adjacent ramps will be considered in
                                   order to minimize diversion between ramps.



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                       SFPR            There will be no significant queuing anticipated on SFPR on-
                                       ramps, so therefore ramp metering is not deemed necessary to
                                       the SFPR at this time.


                      In order to maximize travel time benefits to HOVs, transit, and commercial vehicles,
                      the Gateway Program will work with municipalities to identify ways in which access
                      from the municipal road network to the bypass lanes on the metered ramp can be
                      facilitated.
          3.3         Commercial Vehicle Priority
                      3.3.1    Concept
                      Heavy commercial vehicles have very different physical and operational
                      characteristics from passenger cars – trucks are larger, longer, heavier, require
                      greater turning radii, need longer decelerating and accelerating distances and are
                      generally less maneuverable. As such, where truck traffic is high, certain aspects of
                      the roadway can be designed or operated to better accommodate the specific
                      operating requirements of trucks. Benefits cited for such features are improved traffic
                      operations, improved safety, and more efficient goods movement.8

                      Truck priority features are generally intended for the exclusive use of truck traffic.
                      Truck-friendly or truck accommodation features are intended to better facilitate truck
                      movements but are available for use by non-truck traffic. The concept of lane
                      allocation applies specifically to truck-only lanes.

                      Specific examples of truck priority facilities are separated roadways and dedicated
                      roadways.

                                                                    Separated roadways that are designated
                                                                    for the exclusive use of trucks are typically
                                                                    located within the same right of way as a
                                                                    mixed-traffic roadway. The most well
                                                                    known example of such a roadway is the
                                                                    32-mile ‘dual-dual’ section of the New
                                                                    Jersey Turnpike wherein there are two
                                                                    completely separated roadways alongside
                       “Dual-dual” section of the New Jersey
                       Turnpike.                                    each other (see left).9

                      The inner roadway is usually for passenger cars only, while the other is for mixed
                      traffic, including heavy commercial vehicles. Dynamic message signs divert traffic
                      accordingly, in the event of an emergency or for maintenance requirements.




          8
              Truck Accommodation Design Guidance: Designer Workshop, Report No. 4364-2, Texas Transportation
               Institute, October 2003.
          9
              Managed Lane Ramp and Roadway Design Issues, Report No. 4160-10, Texas Transportation Institute,
               January 2003.
               http://tti.tamu.edu/documents/4160-10.pdf


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                      Dedicated roadways for trucks generally refer to facilities that are situated away from
                      mixed-traffic roadways. The Clarence Henry Truckway in New Orleans, Louisiana and
                      the proposed SR-47 Elevated Port Access Expressway in the Long Beach - Los
                      Angeles port complex are examples of dedicated roadways built specifically for trucks
                      destined for an intermodal facility.

                      Existing examples of interchange bypass lanes and climbing lanes are considered
                      ‘truck-friendly’ as opposed to ‘truck-only’ facilities. Such site-specific features are
                      typically provided for a roadway segment that has the following characteristics:
                      complex weaving area, significant grade, high percentage of truck traffic and/or
                      congestion. There are currently 4 bypass lane facilities in the Los Angeles area and
                      one in Oregon. All were intended to separate heavy flows of trucks from other traffic,
                      to minimize the impact of operational variations that occur in traffic flow when trucks
                      slow down; for example, in mountainous terrain or in merge areas. Although the
                      bypasses were built primarily for the benefit of trucks, they are open to all traffic.10

                      Other truck-friendly features include:

                      •    wider lanes and shoulders;
                      •    larger turning radii;
                      •    longer weaving distances;
                      •    longer acceleration/deceleration
                           lanes;
                                                                             Trucks in the Lower Mainland
                      •    direct access ramps;
                      •    grade separations (road/road, road/rail); and
                      •    protected phases at signalized intersections where trucks are turning.

                      Truck-friendly features which are more operational than physical in nature are
                      effective incident management and real-time travel information.

                      A major source of unexpected and potentially significant delays for truckers and
                      commuters alike are incidents. Traffic incidents are non-recurring events that cause a
                      significant reduction in roadway capacity or increase in demand; examples include
                      collisions, roadwork, road debris, severe weather conditions, and large crowd events.
                      Effective incident management can reduce the duration during which a road or lane is
                      closed as a result of an accident. This, in turn, can reduce the resulting delay and
                      congestion, as well as reduce the potential for secondary collisions. Although incident
                      management systems are implemented for the corridor and are not intended
                      exclusively for commercial vehicles, trucks receive passive benefits from the improved
                      flow and reduced delay.

                      On Highway 1, an incident detection and management program was implemented in
                      1999; CCTV cameras and a Freeway Service Patrol (FSP) monitored the segment

          10   Truck Accommodation Design Guidance: Designer Workshop, Report No. 4364-2, Texas Transportation
               Institute, October 2003.



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                       from Grandview Highway to Cape Horn interchange to assist and/or remove disabled
                       vehicles. After implementation, the average incident duration was reduced by 20
                       minutes, thus reducing the impact on traffic flow.11

                       Real-time travel information, such as that
                       which can be disseminated by an Advanced
                       Traveler Information System (ATIS), can
                       provide truckers with accurate and timely
                       information regarding incidents. Using this
                       information, truckers can select alternate
                       routes or departure times, as well as make
                       alternate arrangements at their destinations.
                       For example, the Port Authority of New York
                       and New Jersey has developed a web-
                       based information portal that consolidates
                       information such as ship and train arrivals,
                       cargo status, local traffic conditions, and
                       queues at entry gates in an effort to reduce
                       truck idling emissions, facilitate freight
                       movement and improve commercial vehicle
                       safety. Live camera views and real-time
                       data streams ensure that the information on
                       the website is current.12
                                                                                 (From top to bottom): cameras monitoring
                                                                                 Highway 401, Toronto; dynamic message
                       3.3.2     Discussion                                      signs, Adelaide, Australia; GPS-based
                                                                                 system, Germany.
                       The concept of lane allocation applies to truck-only facilities, where a specific portion
                       of the roadway (e.g. truck lane) is reserved for the exclusive use of trucks. Truck-
                       friendly or truck accommodation features are primarily traffic management elements
                       aimed at maintaining efficient mixed traffic flow. Some of the key issues to consider
                       when evaluating the feasibility of truck accommodation features are as follows: site-
                       specific features for ramps and arterial roads, shared use with other high priority
                       vehicles, and economic significance.

                       Site-Specific Features for Ramps and Arterial Roads
                       In the Lower Mainland, there are a number of industrial or port areas situated within
                       close proximity to the Gateway corridors. Along the Highway 1 corridor, trucks must
                       travel for some distance on the local road network between the freeway ramps and
                       the industrial areas. The NFPR provides direct access to these areas, as does the
                       current pre-design concept for the SFPR. The implementation of truck

          11   Highway 1 (North Vancouver to Surrey) Monitoring and Evaluation Program: Phase II HOV Evaluation & TMP
               Baseline Summary, IBI Group, accessed 04 Nov 2005.
               www.th.gov.bc.ca/publications/reports_and_studies/hovsummary/summary.htm


          12   Multi-Client Port Access Project prepared for the I-95 Corridor Coalition, Cambridge Systematics, Inc. and
               Parsons Brinckerhoff Quade and Douglas, Inc., September 2003.
               http://144.202.240.28/pman/projectmanagement/Upfiles/reports/full186.pdf



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                      accommodation features on the local roadwork falls under the jurisdiction of local
                      municipalities. In order to maximize the benefits of truck-oriented features on the
                      highway, related features that support and facilitate goods movement on arterial roads
                      are desirable.

                      One way to facilitate goods movement on local roads is by allowing trucks to use
                      selected transit priority and/or HOV lanes. With some modification to the roadway
                      design and vehicle instrumentation, trucks may be able to utilize priority measures
                      currently provided for transit vehicles only. Recommendations from the Major
                      Commercial Transportation System (MCTS) study by the Greater Vancouver
                      Gateway Council, a non-government organization, include the designation of lanes on
                      the arterial road network for the use of HPVs.13 Such lanes effectively allow transit
                      vehicles and trucks to share the same designated lane on an arterial road.

                      Shared Use of the HOV/HOT Lane on Freeways
                      In Greater Vancouver, local and provincial policies have dictated how HOV lanes in
                      their respective jurisdictions operate (including authorized users) and to-date, none
                      have allowed heavy commercial vehicles in the HOV lanes.

                      Research on North American facilities shows that the practice of excluding trucks from
                      HOV lanes is common; while some have based this practice on legislation that
                      prohibits heavy vehicles from operating in the left lane of a multi-lane highway, most
                      point to the vastly different operational characteristics of passenger cars and trucks as
                      the reason for excluding heavy vehicles. Since most existing HOV and high
                      occupancy/toll (HOT) lane facilities (see Section 3.4) provide only one lane in each
                      direction of travel, there no opportunities to enable faster vehicles (primarily passenger
                      cars) to pass slower vehicles (primarily trucks). Consequently, delays are likely to
                      occur in the HOV/HOT lane, particularly in areas with significant grade or some other
                      feature (e.g. exit/entry ramp) that causes heavy vehicles to move slowly, diminishing
                      key benefits of being in the HOV/HOT lane. Additionally, heavy vehicles merging
                      to/from a median HOV facility potentially poses a safety concern and may impact the
                      efficiency of the rest of the roadway.

                      Allowing trucks to use the HOV lanes during off-peak hours appears unnecessary
                      because, typically, ‘off-peak’ is defined as that time of the weekday when excess
                      capacity is available. Hence, if capacity is available in the GP lanes during non-peak
                      periods, there should not be a need for trucks to use the HOV lane.

                      Research indicates that HOT lanes do not generally admit trucks. However, three of
                      the five existing HOT lane systems studied provide only one lane in each direction
                      and it seems reasonable to expect that trucks are excluded for operational reasons.
                      The other two systems exclude trucks due to state legislation that prohibits the
                      operation of heavy vehicles in the left lane(s) of a multi-lane highway. When
                      completed, the expanded I-10 Katy Freeway HOT lanes will provide two lanes in each
                      direction; toll-paying heavy commercial vehicles will be allowed to use the HOT lanes.



          13
               Major Commercial Transportation System Study, Greater Vancouver Gateway Council, Delcan, July 2003.



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                       Economic Significance
                       Quantifying the economic significance of road-based freight movement and
                       incorporating this aspect into the justification for truck priority facilities is a complex
                       process. However, the work done by the Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority
                       (ACTA), in Southern California, demonstrates that undertaking such a process can be
                       effective in securing the level of commitment from both government and private
                       interests required to support the long-term viability of regional economic drivers. Such
                       commitment has resulted in a capital-intensive program to facilitate the large-scale
                       movement of freight in the region. Funding was obtained from a ‘unique blend’ of
                       public and private sources. Need for the project was based on the importance of port
                       business to the Southern California economy, where one of every 15 jobs in the
                       region relies on international trade according to the Los Angeles County Economic
                       Development Corporation.14 Like the ACTA, Transport Canada recognizes the
                       economic impact of congestion on all traffic in the region and estimates it is up to $1.5
                       billion per year. Specifically, the cost of congestion to goods movers is approximately
                       $500 million per year, as estimated by the BC Trucking Association.

                       3.3.3     Application
                       The Gateway Program will implement a suite of road and bridge improvements that
                       adds capacity in three major transportation corridors – Highway 1, NFPR and SFPR.
                       These will include measures for congestion relief for freight movement and enhance
                       the accessibility of the region’s major inter-modal facilities and other key generators of
                       truck volumes. Furthermore, proposed complementary measures, relating to the use
                       of more efficient modes for personal travel and direct management of traffic demand,
                       are aimed at maintaining an acceptable level of service for goods movement over the
                       long term.

                       The criteria for determining sites with the potential for truck accommodation measures
                       include high truck volumes and/or high proportion of trucks, proximity to industrial
                       areas or connections to key goods movement corridors. Latest research by the U.S.
                       Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) suggests that a four-lane urban highway
                       with an annual average daily traffic of 100,000 vehicles per day and a minimum of
                       25% truck traffic is a candidate for adding a barrier-separated designated truck lane.15
                       Along the Gateway Program corridors, truck volumes in 2031 are generally predicted
                       to be between 5 and 15% of total traffic during the AM and PM peak periods. The
                       exception to this is the SFPR, where for a number of segments, between Deltaport
                       Way and Ladner Trunk Road, and near Bridgeview Industrial Area, truck traffic is
                       forecast to make up 25 to 30% of total peak period traffic. In these locations, however,
                       the daily traffic volumes suggest that traffic operations will be acceptable without the
                       use of barrier-separated truck lanes. Thus, it is deemed unlikely that truck lanes would
                       be feasible for the entire length of the NFPR, SFPR, or Highway 1.

                       Commercial vehicle priority measures that will be incorporated into the Gateway
                       Program include:

          14
               Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority (ACTA) website site accessed July 2005.
               http://www.acta.org
          15
               Battelle Memorial Institute, 2002.


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                  •     improved mobility with new or upgraded interchanges and intersections;
                  •     improved reliability of travel times through congestion relief and improved
                        operational resiliency;
                  •     improved ramp geometry for safer and easier turns;
                  •     improved access with new ramps;
                  •     ITS measures on Highway 1 to provide more efficient traffic management
                        through dynamic message signs, closed circuit cameras, and vehicle
                        detectors; and
                  •     improved access to industrial areas along the south side of the Fraser River.

                  Specific truck priority features that may be appropriate on Highway 1 to improve
                  traffic operations and better accommodate trucks include:


                      Port of Vancouver             Additional lanes in each direction through the
                      (McGill St interchange        Cassiar Connector that connect directly to
                      (IC))                         McGill Street ramps to enable trucks to enter
                                                    and exit the highway without changing lanes.

                      Still Creek                   Longer acceleration lanes at the Highway 1
                      (Boundary Rd/                 westbound on-ramps from Boundary Road
                      Willingdon Ave IC)            and Willingdon Avenue to improve merge
                                                    conditions. A potential collector-distributor
                                                    system would provide better access to the
                                                    interchanges, and a signal at Willingdon
                                                    Avenue would facilitate the southbound to
                                                    eastbound movement.

                      Lake City                     Truck-friendly ramp geometry to facilitate the
                      (Gaglardi Way IC)             movement of southbound trucks destined for
                                                    eastbound Highway 1.

                      NFPR / Braid St               Truck-friendly ramp geometry to facilitate key
                      Industrial area               truck movements (eastbound to northbound
                      (Brunette Ave IC)             and westbound to southbound).

                      Mayfair / Pacific Reach       Direct ramps to connect United Boulevard with
                      (Cape Horn IC)                Highway 1 east. These could be designated
                                                    exclusively for trucks.

                      SFPR / Campbell               Truck-friendly geometry to facilitate truck
                      Heights / Border              movement on all ramps.          In addition,
                      Crossing (176 St IC)          southbound vehicles would be able to connect
                                                    to Highway 1 eastbound without stopping.

                      Port Kells (192 St IC)        A new partial interchange to provide direct
                                                    access to Port Kells. Turn restrictions would



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                                          limit use by non-commercial vehicles.

                  Langley Township (216   This interchange to provide new access to the
                  St IC)                  Township of Langley.




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                  Because SFPR is being designed as a major goods movement corridor, it will
                  provide improved access and connections to the following corridors and industrial
                  areas:

                  •     Highway 1;
                  •     Highway 15;
                  •     Highway 99;
                  •     Nordel Way;
                  •     CN Intermodal Yard;
                  •     Highway 91 (Alex
                        Fraser Bridge);
                  •     Bridgeview (130 Street
                        intersection);
                  •     Fraser/Surrey Docks
                        (Tannery Road
                        interchange);
                                                                Highway 17 at Highway 99
                  •     Emerging South
                        Westminster industrial
                        area (near south
                        approaches to Pattullo
                        Bridge);
                  •     Tilbury and Sunbury Industrial Areas (80th and 72nd Street intersections); and
                  •     Deltaport.


                  The following industrial areas along NFPR will benefit from improved access and
                  mobility:
                      Port Coquitlam             Trucks will experience improved mobility and
                      Industrial Area            less delay due to the upgrade from an
                      (Kingsway Avenue)          intersection to an interchange.
                      CP Intermodal Yard         The new Pitt River Bridge and Intersection
                      (Kennedy Road)             improvements at Kennedy Road will provide
                                                 trucks with more direct access and improved
                                                 geometry over the existing In addition, because
                                                 NFPR will extend eastward to the Golden Ears
                                                 Bridge and add 2.7 lane-kilometres to the
                                                 roadway, commercial vehicles will have
                                                 improved connectivity to the CP Intermodal
                                                 Yard.
                      Maple Meadows              Although it is beyond the Gateway project limits,
                      Industrial Area            Maple Meadows industrial area will benefit from
                      (Maple Meadows             improved connectivity due to the more reliable
                      Way)                       link to Mary Hill Bypass and Lougheed Highway
                                                 via NFPR.


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          3.4        High Occupancy/Toll (HOT) Lanes
                      3.4.1    Concept
                      High occupancy/toll (HOT) lanes are limited access, normally barrier-separated,
                      highway lanes that are used by 1) qualifying HOVs (for free or reduced toll), and 2)
                      vehicles that do not meet HOV requirements paying the full toll.16

                      The use of varying price levels to moderate demand is common in sectors such as air
                      travel and power. Higher airfares during Spring Break, for example, might cause
                      travelers to travel at a different, less busy time; to take a bus or car; or to travel to a
                      closer destination. With a HOT lane facility, in order to maintain the incentive for
                      travelers to use transit/HOVs or to pay the toll, the level of service must always be
                      noticeably higher than that on the parallel untolled roadway. Ideally, the HOT lane
                      must never be congested. More demand means more congestion; hence, as the level
                      of service on the HOT lanes begins to degrade, higher tolls are imposed to
                      discourage some motorists from entering the HOT lanes.

                      In addition to pricing, another mechanism for managing demand in the HOT lanes is
                      the number of accesses. In several other jurisdictions, existing HOT lanes have only
                      one entry point and one exit point. Such a configuration naturally limits the potential
                      users to those whose origin and destination allow them to access the lanes. For
                      example, people traveling short distances (e.g. from one interchange to the next),
                      even if they are in HOVs, are effectively excluded from the group of potential users.

                      HOT lanes have the potential to provide a wide range of benefits to motorists, transit
                      users, freight movers and the road authority, over and above those already noted for
                      lane allocation.

                      •   Utilization of Excess Capacity: One of the challenges of implementing an
                          HOV lane network is forecasting the number of users who will use the lanes.
                          The ‘empty lane syndrome’ contributed to the de-designation of HOV lanes in
                          the U.S. during the early 1990s. HOT lane operation provides a means for
                          deflecting demands to open up the HOV lanes to mixed traffic, by allowing
                          toll-paying single occupancy drivers to use the lanes. Over time, if HOV
                          demand increases, single occupancy drivers may eventually be prohibited
                          from using the HOT lane.
                      •   Revenue Generation: Existing HOT lane
                          facilities direct revenue toward transit
                          improvements,          operation     and
                          maintenance       and    future  roadway
                          improvements. In some cases, the
                          addition of the HOT lane would not have
                          been possible without the revenue
                          provided by the toll operation.
                      •   Operational Flexibility: As traffic demand
                          grows, the priorities and policies of the
                          region and of the road authority may                   HOT lanes in the U.S.

          16
               A Guide for HOT Lane Development, FHWA Publication No. FHWA-OP-03-009,
               http://www.ops.fhwa.dot.gov

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                           change. A multi-lane and segregated facility, such as that which a HOT lane
                           operation could provide, might be used to provide preferential service for
                           HOVs and transit initially. Over time, regional economic priorities might call
                           for the lanes to be designated for either shared or exclusive use by
                           commercial vehicles.
                       There are currently five HOT lane facilities operating in North America; all are in the
                       United States and have single lanes in each direction. Most of these HOT facilities are
                       conversions of previously underutilized HOV facilities. The five facilities are as follows:
                       I-15 FasTrak (San Diego, CA), SR-91 Express Lanes (Orange County, CA), I-10 Katy
                       Freeway Quickride (Houston,TX), US-290 Northwest Freeway Quickride (Houston,
                       TX), and I-394 MnPass Express Lane (Minneapolis, MN). Research has not identified
                       any HOT lane facilities elsewhere in the world.

                       3.4.2    Discussion
                       Some of the key issues to consider when evaluating the feasibility of HOT lanes are
                       as follows: congestion in the GP lanes, inter-agency cooperation, and operational
                       considerations.

                       Congestion
                       In order to provide a reason for motorists to pay a toll or to switch to HOVs/transit,
                       congestion must be present on the parallel untolled roadway – it must be severe and
                       widespread enough such that travel time savings in the HOT lanes become attractive
                       to drivers. As noted in A Guide for HOT Lane Development, “the success of the 91
                       Express Lanes depends on congestion in the general purpose lanes and on a toll
                       structure that regulates demand so that the facility can always offer a time savings.”17

                       Inter-Agency Cooperation
                       Inter-agency coordination and cooperation was a major element in the planning and
                       implementation of Houston’s Quickride system. The I-10 Katy Freeway and US-290
                       Northwest Freeway HOT lanes are owned by the Texas Department of Transportation
                       (TXDOT) and operated by the Harris County Metropolitan Transit Authority (Houston
                       METRO). It is part of an extensive HOV network that includes (as of 2003) 100 miles
                       of HOV lanes in six freeway corridors; 28 park and ride lots with transit stations that
                       provide covered passenger waiting areas and other amenities – major lots have direct
                       access ramps to freeway HOV lanes; 4 park and pool lots; express bus service;
                       rideshare services and other support activities.18 Because of the close coordination
                       between the two agencies, high utilization of the HOT lanes was assured. The
                       supporting elements help to maximize travel time benefits for HOV/transit users and
                       hence, encourage greater HOV use. Not only are benefits accrued while traveling on
                       the HOT lanes on the freeway, the provision of transit centres with direct access
                       ramps to the lanes provides further incentives for HOV usage.


          17
               Ibid.
          18   Houston Managed Lanes Case Study: The Evolution of the Houston HOV System, U.S. Department of
               Transportation Federal Highway Administration.
               http://www.ops.fhwa.dot.gov/docs/Houston/



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                  Operational Considerations
                  As mentioned above, it is imperative that the level of service on HOT lanes be
                  maintained to provide a travel time savings over using GP lanes. Passenger/transit
                  vehicles have different operational characteristics than heavy commercial vehicles;
                  allowing all types of vehicles into a single HOT lane would negatively impact the
                  efficiency of that lane. In order to maintain travel conditions in the HOT facility, two
                  lanes in each direction would be more effective, allowing for faster vehicles to pass
                  within the HOT system. But it is important to consider that implementing a 4-lane HOT
                  facility has significant physical requirements on the right of way of the roadway
                  corridor.

                  3.4.3   Application
                  Based on operational considerations, physical constraints, and the Gateway Program
                  objectives, HOT lanes are deemed not suitable for application at this time. In order to
                  be effective in providing travel time advantages to both HOVs (including transit) and
                  commercial vehicles, it would require that the HOT lane strategy provide at least two
                  dedicated lanes in each direction of travel. A four-lane HOT facility within the roadway
                  network would yield a considerable impact on the right of way requirement. Because
                  HOT facilities generally have limited access, GP lanes will likely include HOVs and
                  commercial traffic whose origin and destination prevent them from using the HOT
                  lanes. Additionally, given the possibility that road pricing may be implemented on
                  Highway 1, HOT lane operation could be rendered redundant.

          4.      CONCLUSION
                  The fundamental objective of lane allocation is to provide an advantage, in the form of
                  travel time savings or improved trip reliability, to specific user groups. Within the
                  Gateway corridors, study findings indicate that the lane allocation strategy must
                  feature the following attributes:

                  •   Provide priority to high occupancy
                      vehicles, with specific attention to
                      transit requirements;
                  •   Provide features to support and
                      facilitate efficient goods movement;
                      and
                  •   Provide a means to directly manage
                      traffic demand as a way to optimize
                      corridor efficiency and improve the
                      attractiveness of alternate modes over
                      time.
                  The following strategies are, therefore,
                  reflected in the Gateway Program’s pre-
                  design concepts:                                             Mary Hill Bypass

                  •   High occupancy vehicle lanes;
                  •   Site-specific truck priority; and


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                  •     Ramp metering.
                  High occupancy/toll (HOT) lanes and dedicated commercial vehicle lanes were
                  evaluated as part of this study, but are not suitable for application as part of the
                  Gateway Program at this time based on findings to-date.
                  The degree to which the above strategies are applicable to each of the three corridors
                  will vary. The following is based on analysis completed to-date and is subject to
                  change based on input from the public consultation process:

                      Highway 1 • HOV priority features will be provided for Highway 1. Initially, the
                                  existing HOV lanes will be extended to Langley in both travel
                                  directions. Potential queue jumpers at 152nd Street and/or 160th
                                  Street on-ramps to westbound Highway 1 will be part of the initial
                                  works. Additional features will be considered for later
                                  implementation as HOV usage increases.
                                 • Ramp metering will be considered in order to improve merging
                                   operations at high-demand ramps and to provide additional
                                   advantages to HOVs, potentially via bypass lanes on metered
                                   ramps. Metering will be considered for early implementation at
                                   ramps where transit service or high HOV usage is anticipated.
                                 • New ramps to/from major industrial areas, truck-friendly geometry
                                   on ramps and the mainline and operational/design improvements at
                                   interchanges throughout Highway 1 will greatly enhance
                                   accessibility and efficiency for goods movement in this corridor.
                                   Site-specific truck accommodation features are reflected in the
                                   Gateway Program’s pre-design concepts in areas near major
                                   industrial sites such as the Port of Vancouver, Still Creek, Pacific
                                   Reach/United Boulevard, and Port Kells, as well as at regional
                                   roads that connect to key goods movement corridors such as
                                   Highway 15.
                                 • The implementation of a regional intelligent transportation system
                                   (ITS) and enhanced incident management capabilities (in
                                   conjunction with others) will help to ensure that all travelers have
                                   access to reliable real-time information about traffic conditions and
                                   that incident-related delay is minimized as much as possible on key
                                   transportation corridors. Examples of such technologies include
                                   dynamic message signs, closed-circuit cameras, and vehicle
                                   detectors.
                      NFPR       • HOV priority features will be provided for the NFPR as part of a
                                   future HOV network that provides HOV lanes on surrounding
                                   municipal and regional roads.
                                 • Ramp metering at future interchanges will be considered to manage
                                   high traffic demand forecast for the medium to long term; HOV
                                   bypass lanes on metered ramps may also being considered.
                                 • In the near-term, the Pitt River Bridge and Mary Hill Bypass project,
                                   and the extension of the third westbound lane on Highway 7 from
                                   Maple Meadows Way to Harris Road will benefit commercial vehicle
                                   operations due to the increased capacity. Additionally, truck-friendly
                                   geometry future interchanges will further facilitate goods movement

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                             in this corridor. As with Highway 1, it is envisioned that truck priority
                             features along the NFPR will work in conjunction with truck-oriented
                             features on the surrounding regional and local road network.
                  SFPR   Because SFPR is being designed as a major goods movement corridor, it
                         will provide improved access and connections to the following corridors
                         and industrial areas:
                         •    Highway 1;
                         •    Highway 15;
                         •    Highway 99;
                         •    Nordel Way;
                         •    CN Intermodal Yard;
                         •    Highway 91 (Alex Fraser Bridge);
                         •    Bridgeview (130 Street intersection);
                         •    Fraser/Surrey Docks (Tannery Road interchange);
                         •    Emerging South Westminster            industrial   area   (near   south
                              approaches to Pattullo Bridge);
                         •    Tilbury and Sunbury Industrial Areas (80th and 72nd Street
                              intersections); and
                         •    Deltaport.
                         New interchanges and new/re-designed intersections, combined with
                         truck-friendly geometry throughout the corridor, will greatly enhance the
                         accessibility of industrial areas along the Fraser River in Surrey and
                         Delta.




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