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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Neighborhood traffic management and community livability : three Vancouver case studies Roth, Heike Dagmar


The study investigates the effectiveness of neighborhood traffic management in achieving a balance between two carpeting objectives: accessibility and community livability. Its role in creating environmental areas, defining environmental capacities and providing an arterial network is studied, as is the relationship between traffic and land use. The importance of an efficient transportation system and livable residential areas, combined with the increasing use of neighborhood traffic management suggests that the effectiveness of neighborhood traffic management planning in addressing neighborhood livability issues and its effects on the transportation system are important urban concerns. Three Vancouver neighborhoods with neighborhood traffic management plans implemented between 1979 - 1982, Shaughnessy, Vancouver Heights and the West End, serve as case studies. The effectiveness of the neighborhood traffic management planning process in addressing neighborhood concerns is measured by determining the perceptions of the group advocating the plan with respect to the process and the plan, and by determining how well this group represents the neighborhood. Indicators of representativeness used include: descriptive, substantive, geographic and process. Determining the effectiveness of the neighborhood traffic management plans in reducing traffic volumes within the neighborhoods is achieved by analysis of before and after traffic counts. With regard to the effects of the implemented plan on the transportation system, the study looks at traffic volumes at nearby arterial intersections and the presence of arterial improvements made in conjunction with the neighborhood traffic management plan. The study findings indicate that the group advocating the neighborhood traffic management plan is representative of the area and that the planning process identifies and responds to the concerns of the area residents. However, the implementation of the neighborhood traffic plans falls short of meeting residents' needs, due to the design of the devices or the timing of the implementation. The study findings on the effects of the plan on the transportation system are not conclusive, but suggest no major impacts. The study concludes that the neighborhood traffic management planning process should be improved by formalizing the role of neighborhood traffic planning, thereby giving legitimacy to both citizen participation and the plans produced. In addition, the adoption of an environmental area:policy emphasizing the protection of residential neighborhoods will ensure that plans are implemented as intended. The study also concludes that an optimal balance between efficiency of the transportation system and environmental quality can only be achieved by the integration of neighborhood traffic management planning, transportation planning, and land use planning.

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