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Alberta Transportation Warrant System Review

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Resolution Category: 
Provincial Scope 11
Subject: 
Year: 
2016
Status: 
Adopted - Active
Sponsor(s): 
Olds, Town of
Active Clauses: 

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association urge the Province of Alberta to review the Transportation Warrant System and allow municipalities the opportunity to provide input.

Whereas Clauses: 

WHEREAS Alberta highways are under provincial jurisdiction, regulated and maintained by Alberta Transportation through the Highways Development and Protection Act;

WHEREAS Safety Measures for Stop-Controlled Intersections (September 2011) developed by Alberta Transportation, outline the four level warrant system to reduce collisions through the application of adequate traffic control devices and safety measures;

WHEREAS justification in either meeting or exceeding the threshold for a warrant triggers whether the province, municipality or developer pays for the change in intersection which can create safety concerns for efficient movement of traffic, both presently and in planning for future growth.

Resolution Background: 

Highways are a Provincial jurisdiction and are regulated and maintained by Alberta Transportation. Applicable guidelines are set for the design, placement, construction and maintenance of roadway lighting, signage and signalization on provincial highways. Alberta Transportation uses a warrant system to determine when investments are made to the provincial system. The warrant score and available capital dollars dictate when investments occur.

Olds has experienced at least three situations when either the warrant system or the availability of capital dollars have caused safety issues. Municipal government is responsible for safety matters in communities and as such this conflict may put local government officials at risk. Therefore, we request a review of the current recommended practices for safety measures and the warrant system, including input from local government and a strategy to communicate any changes to the current practice. Without municipal input, the current warrant system can and does create a negative impact on the current system.

Government Response: 

Alberta Transportation - November 2016

Alberta Transportation adheres to national warrants developed by the Transportation Association of Canada. Some AUMA members already participate on national committees when the warrants are reviewed. The department will advise when the national warrants are next updated so that AUMA or its representative members can provide input to the national committee.

AUMA Notes: 

While Alberta Transportation uses national warrants, it also occasionally adapts the national warrants to better suit the Alberta context. For example, the province combined the national Traffic Signal Warrant (2007) with local historical applications to develop its own warrant for highway intersections, called Safety Measures at Rural Stop-Controlled Intersections (which is the relevant warrant for this resolution). However, the process for how Alberta Transportation adapts national warrants to better suit local context and how municipalities could provide input into that process is unclear. AUMA therefore sent a follow up letter to the Minister of Transportation in February 2017 requesting clarification on the following:

  • How the department considers local context in adapting national warrants to provincial stop-controlled intersections
  • How municipalities can provide input into these local considerations
  • What processes are used to communicate with municipalities and other stakeholders about Alberta's own warrants, such as the Safety Measures for Stop-Controlled Intersections.
AUMA Comments: 
Considers government response