About Transportation Planning
Road Planning and Design
Richmond Transportation Planning
The Transportation Division establishes the need and priority for the City's transportation improvements prior to establishing the Five-Year Major Capital Works Program which outlines the scope and schedule of future road infrastructure improvements in Richmond. The need for transportation improvements is primarily driven by factors such as public input, new developments, area plans, evolving community values, traffic management strategies, traffic safety concerns, and regional transportation improvements.
Regional Transportation Planning
The Transportation Division works regularly with other external agencies, such as the Ministry of Transportation, Vancouver International Airport Authority and TransLink, to develop regional transportation strategies to meet future travel demand in the region. Some of the key projects currently under review are: Highway 99 improvements and the update of the Richmond Area Transit Plan.
Preliminary Road Design
Before detailed design is carried out for the construction of road improvement projects proposed in the City's Major Capital Works Program, preliminary functional design is prepared by the Transportation Division to define the scope of improvements, such as road width/alignment, traffic lane configuration, and property requirement. The functional design is carried out after consulting with various City departments as well as the public directly affected by the improvements.
Special Transportation Studies
Transportation studies are conducted for major development proposals, area community plans and other planning studies which require in-depth analysis of traffic implications. Major studies, such as the City Centre Transportation Study, are normally conducted by recognized transportation consultants retained by the City or the developer. Some small scale studies are conducted in-house by the Transportation Division.
All street signs and pavement markings in Richmond are designed in accordance with the Transportation Association of Canada's guidelines. The Transportation Division works to ensure that all traffic control devices used by the City are in accordance with national and international standards and that they are readily recognizable and understood by the road users. The Transportation Division is also responsible for maintaining existing signs and pavement markings.
Special traffic control measures to discourage through traffic in a residential neighbourhood, such as special signage, curb extensions, and partial road closures, are sometimes warranted on local streets after confirming that the neighbourhood is adversely affected by this traffic. The implementation of such traffic calming measures is subject to traffic analysis by the Transportation Division and subsequent Council approval.
Richmond City Employee Ride Share Program
A "RideShare" carpool registry has been put in place for Richmond City Employees who are interested in sharing a ride to and from work. Transportation acts as a ride-matching coordinator providing assistance to employees in finding potential rideshare partners.
Pedestrian Facility Planning
Each year, candidate locations for sidewalk and walkway improvements are evaluated by the Transportation Division and the Engineering & Public Works Department to determine the priority of implementation in the Major Capital Works Program. Key factors considered in the evaluation are safety, pedestrian activities, adjacent land use, accident history, road geometry, and public input.
Creating a Pedestrian Friendly Environment
To encourage people to walk rather than take the car on short trips, the City has developed various ongoing programs to improve the safety and environment for the pedestrian. Wider sidewalks and crosswalks, non-vehicular walkways, shorter city blocks with signalized crosswalks and roadside tree boulevards are some of the new measures that have been implemented to enhance the pedestrian environment. Crosswalks and sidewalks are installed when specific traffic engineering warrants are met. Location reviews are conducted on an ongoing basis.
Transportation Needs of People Living with Disabilities
The Transportation Division has taken a proactive approach to implementing roadway features to accommodate people living with disabilities. Each year, wheelchair accessible bus stops, sidewalks, and ramps have been added at key locations for the physically challenged. Accessible pedestrian devices (audible and vibro-tactile features) to assist the visually impaired have been installed at all special crosswalks and pedestrian signals and will eventually be installed at all traffic signal crosswalks. These features are augmented with fluorescent green-yellow push button signs and will have street name signs in both Braille and raised lettering. These initiatives are now design standards adopted by the City.
Richmond On-Street Cycling Network
The official Richmond On-Street Cycling Network Plan was adopted by Council in early 1996. The Plan, prepared by the Transportation Division in consultation with the Richmond Community Cycling Committee, provides guidance in identifying the location, as well as setting the priority, of future on-street cycling facility improvements in the city.
Cycling Facility Planning
Cycling improvement projects are planned and designed annually based on the Richmond On-Street Cycling Network Plan adopted by Council. With input from the Richmond Active Transportation Committee, cycling projects are presented to Council each year for approval and submission to provincial and regional cost-sharing programs.
For more information on cycling in Richmond and throughout the region, visit our Cycling section.
Canada Line Rapid Transit System
The City of Richmond is committed to pursue rapid transit solutions for the community. The Canada Line (formerly RAV) is a rail-based rapid transit line that links central Richmond, the Vancouver International Airport and Vancouver along the Cambie corridor to central Broadway, the downtown Business District and the emerging transportation hub at Waterfront Station. Opened in August 2009, a 25 minute commute from Richmond to the Waterfront Station on Burrard Inlet is now a reality.
- More information on the Canada Line project in Richmond
- For information on the entire Canada Line, including the YVR and Vancouver segments, visit the TransLink website.
TransLink Program Plan
Proposed transit improvements are outlined in TransLink's Annual Program Plan. These plans are forwarded to each of the Metro Vancouver municipalities, including Richmond, for review and comments. Transportation Division identifies key local transit issues arising from the plans and make recommendations to Council to address the issues.
Richmond Area Transit Plan
The first Richmond Area Transit Plan was developed jointly by the City and TransLink and approved by Council and the TransLink Board in September 2000.
The ATP identified improvements to transit service in the City over a 3-5 year period. As most of the new improvements have been implemented, the City and TransLink began the process to update the ATP, now called the Southwest Area Transport Plan in 2016, which will include extensive public consultation.
On-Street Parking Management
Parking and Stopping restrictions are established by the Transportation Division to increase the safety and efficiency of the roadway. As not all parking restrictions are signed and posted, it is incumbent on the motorist to be familiar with the regulations outlined in the Motor Vehicle Act and Richmond Traffic Bylaw. For example, Richmond Traffic Bylaw states that it is illegal to park or stop a vehicle within 5 metres of a fire hydrant, and signs are not normally posted at each fire hydrant.
Traffic safety issues are discussed at regular meetings of the City's Traffic Safety Advisory Committee (TSAC), which consists of members from the City's Transportation and Community Bylaw Divisions, Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Richmond School Board, Richmond District Parents Association, Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC), and Richmond Fire-Rescue.
School Zone Traffic Safety
Transportation Division initiatives and partnerships with external agencies have contributed to the overall high level of traffic safety around schools. These activities include:
- traffic safety audit to review traffic control measures around Richmond elementary schools;
- educational efforts directed at parents and children to raise awareness of traffic safety around schools (e.g., publication of “ Traffic Safety around Schools and Playgrounds” brochure, which was distributed to all schoolchildren in Richmond, and the annual “Traffic Safety Awareness Week” campaign); and
- promotional strategies to encourage parents and children to walk/ride to school and thereby reduce traffic congestion (e.g., annual International Walk to School Day event and contest).
Special traffic regulations are often implemented around schools for the safety of students. Reduced Speed Zones of 30 km/h were established in March 1992 on local roads fronting elementary schools. These reduced speed zones are in effect between 8 am and 5 pm on school days. Parking and stopping restrictions are normally established along road frontages of elementary schools and if required, on adjacent roads to improve visibility and avoid traffic congestion in critical areas.
For more information on school zone traffic safety, see Traffic Safety Around Schools.
Citywide Traffic Safety Programs
On-going traffic safety programs undertaken by the Transportation Division include: Richmond/ICBC Joint Studies on Intersection Safety, School Traffic Safety Audits, Construction Zone Traffic Safety Reviews, annual Traffic Accident Analysis and Summary, annual Crosswalk Reviews, and annual Traffic Signal Reviews. The Transportation Division regularly liaises with the Richmond Centre for Disability and the Seniors Advisory Council on various traffic safety issues.
Special Traffic Control
Special Events and Location Filming
The Transportation Division is responsible for co-ordinating City Services required for special oversized vehicles, parades and location filming within the City. Films range from student film projects and television commercials to episodes of television series. The RCMP and Richmond Fire Department's assistance is often requested to provide special traffic control during these events and monitoring special effects during filming.
Traffic and Pedestrian Signals
The Transportation Division continually monitors the city's traffic conditions for potential locations that may require modifications to existing signals or installation of new signals. Data for determining the need for these devices is gathered and analyzed through traffic flow and pedestrian activity studies, as well as public and police input on local traffic experience. The design, construction, operations and maintenance of traffic signal devices in Richmond, including a computerized traffic signal system, is overseen by Traffic Signals in the Transportation Division.
- Development Permit
- Agricultural Land Commission
- Strata Title
- Temporary Land Use
- Development Variance Permits
The applications are analyzed for:
- impact on traffic volumes and operations surrounding a site
- traffic safety issues
- circulation layout
- access numbers, locations and design
- connections with adjacent sites (interconnectivity)
- parking requirements and layout
- pedestrian connections
- transit service
- adherence to policies, bylaws, official community plans (OCP's) and area plans
After each application is reviewed, recommendations and requirements on transportation improvements are made in the following areas:
- property dedication
- road and sidewalk construction or improvements
- funding of traffic safety devices (signals, crosswalk, etc.)
- covenants covering access restrictions and/or limitations
- access design guidelines
- right-of-way agreements
- consultation/coordination with adjacent sites
- auto-use reduction programs
- transportation studies
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