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RFD- 3548 Business Items   Item #   10. b.    
Regular Council Meeting Agenda
Meeting Date: 03/25/2019  
Title:    Automated Traffic Enforcement - Wolanski
Department: Community & Protective Services  
Strategic Vision Element: Where People Choose to Live - A dynamic city with an exceptional quality of life Related Goal: Citizens feel safe within their communities.

Request for Decision Summary
As a result of the report provided at the March 18, 2019 Committee of the Whole meeting, the recommendations provided and amended require approval from Council.

Proposed Motion
That the City of Spruce Grove continue with Automated Traffic Safety in the City as one of its tools to achieve traffic safety outcomes subject to the recommendations in this report;


That administration be directed to develop and bring forward for Council's consideration by May 31, 2019 a policy on Automated Traffic Enforcement outlining the City's commitment to ensuring the program continues to meet provincial guidelines and principles, the City's own traffic safety priorities, and the needs of the community;


That administration be directed to develop an advisory committee, with public participation, related to Automated Traffic Enforcement and bring forward for Council's consideration with associated terms of reference by December 31, 2019; 


That administration be directed to implement the public awareness initiatives for Automated Traffic Enforcement as identified in this report; 


The City of Spruce Grove continues with Automated Traffic Enforcement while at the same time increasing and balancing the program with manned enforcement and reporting on the balance annually to Council;


That administration continue with implementing the recommendations as identified in the 2016 Operational Effectiveness Review on Automated Traffic Enforcement in concert with the updated provincial Guideline and recommendations in this report;


That the City of Spruce Grove maintain their existing philosophy by allocating all revenue, including Automated Traffic Enforcement, to general revenues of the City subject to providing additional information on how Automated Traffic Enforcement revenues contribute to safety investments in the city through the annual report to Council and the Corporate Plan;


That administration be directed to proceed with a Request for Proposals for a contract service provider for the City's Automated Traffic Enforcement Program detailing the City's requirements. 

Spruce Grove City Council, as a follow-up to the 2017 election campaign, requested an opportunity to review the Automated Traffic Enforcement (ATE) program in the City with the ultimate goal of making a determination on its
future.  The discussion was deferred until such time as the results of the provincial ATE report and findings were released, which occurred in February, 2019.  A comprehensive report was developed and presented to Committee of the Whole at its meeting on March 18, 2019.  The report and corresponding presentation highlighted the following:
  • Background on speeding impacts related to traffic safety.
  • Automated Traffic Enforcement historical information in general and specific to Spruce Grove.
  • Legal Jurisdiction and Framework (roles and responsibilities).
  • Provincial review findings, changes, and updated Guideline.
  • Current practice and implementation of ATE in Spruce Grove including deployment, site selection, audits, and reporting.
  • Statistics on the success of ATE in multiple jurisdictions and Spruce Grove including behaviour modification and collision reductions.
  • Update on the 2016 Operational Effectiveness Review related to ATE in the City of Spruce Grove.
  • Common concerns and Perceptions (i.e. "cash cow", covert vs. overt, site selection, contractor role, etc.).
  • "In-House" Financial Analysis.
  • Financial Considerations.
  • Recommendations and Options.

As a result of the discussion and feedback from Committee on March 18, 2019 the proposed motion is being presented for Council's consideration.  The desire to provide clear direction to both administration and the public was evident throughout the discussion.  As such, for the benefit of both Council and the public, the suggested motion is broken into separate parts in order to ensure that all of the discussion and recommendations were captured. 

The eight separate sections are separated and detailed below under the Options/Alternatives section of this Request for Decision.  The items highlighted were suggested by members of Council during the discussion at Committee of the Whole.
Recommendation #1 - Maintain Automated Traffic Enforcement

The consensus from Committee was to continue with Automated Traffic Enforcement in the City of Spruce Grove as a tool to achieve traffic safety subject to the recommendations in the report and provided to administration on March 18, 2019.  In addition to the specific motions and recommendations included for decision, Council's desire to continue with ATE was also subject to the following:
  • Investigation and possible development of a "warning system" for stop sign/red light failure to stop infractions.
  • Investigation and a report to Council on speed limits on 16A and possible infrastructure improvements that could address traffic safety and reduce ATE use. (administration would need to speak to engineering about capacity and timelines and report back to Council)
  • As part of the contractor RFP process consider a reduction in ATE hours presently or the ability to reduce in the future.
  • Consideration of ATE and/or other traffic safety initiatives at Jennifer Heil Way/Grove Dr. and Century Rd./Grove Dr. intersections.
  • Development of a condensed guide or FAQ's that can be easily provided by Council or administration to complainants.

Recommendation #2 - Council Policy

Administration be directed to develop a Council Policy on Automated Traffic Enforcement outlining their commitment to ensuring the program is meeting the provincial Guideline and principles, the City's own traffic safety priorities, and the needs of the community.  The policy will likely include:
  • Roles and responsibilities.
  • Provincial Guideline adherence.
  • Additional transparency and reporting.
  • Importance of additional traffic safety measures.
  • Public Advisory Committee.
Recommendation #3 - Advisory Committee

There was strong consensus from Committee for the development of an advisory committee with public participation who's mandate includes or is solely related to ATE.  This may simply be an expansion of an existing committee or an entirely new committee.  Administration will investigate and present options to Council with a recommended terms of reference and scope for future consideration.

Recommendation #4 - Public Awareness

An important caveat to continuing with ATE in the City of Spruce Grove for the Committee was increasing and creating additional public awareness.  Due to the importance of this issue, administration wanted to highlight the public awareness initiatives presented to and recommended from Committee (highlighted).

1.  Enhanced Separate and Annual Report to Council 

The report will include, but not necessarily be limited to:
  • Overarching safety and guiding principles, including definitions on overt/covert 
  • Provincial Guideline adherence
  • Provincial audit results/recommendations (if applicable)
  • Financial information and considerations (including far greater detail related to how ATE money contributes to safety initiatives in the City)
  • Other traffic safety initiatives 
  • Statistics on collisions, violations, intersection rationale, complaints, hours of enforcement per site, etc.
  • Recommendations/options for improvement/consideration
  • Advisory committee comments
  • Site rationale (approved, new, removal)
  • Manned enforcement vs. ATE balance
  • Overt and Covert balance
  • Number of violations observed that did not result in a ticket
  • Education initiatives undertaken and considered, including enhanced Safe City awareness
  • Information around successes or important changes (i.e. where sites were removed or altered because of engineering or other successful alternatives to ATE)
2.  Automated Traffic Enforcement Guideline
  • The City is in compliance with most already.
  • While compliant with Guideline in terms of signage, investigate enhanced and highly visible signage informing citizens and visitors of ATE program.  Also investigate and recommend additional speed monitoring signs that complement the ATE program.
  • Location and rationale for approved sites posted on the City's website (June 1, 2019 implementation requirement).
  • Annual report on how program is contributing to traffic safety (identified in proposed annual report to Council).
3.  Interactive Mapping

Directing administration to pursue technologies and/or service providers to develop a real-time interactive map to include the following:
  • Opportunity for citizens to click on approved fixed and mobile locations to see whether sites are currently active in real-time.
  • Rationale for each approved site.
  • Statistics for each site (collisions, violations).
  • Number of hours for each site.
  • Similar data for other non-ATE locations (i.e. speed signs) or specific monitoring.
NOTE: This initiative may be able to be achieved through a contract with a service provider or may require a Corporate Plan initiative as the City does not have the existing resources to develop at this time.

Recommendation #5 - Automated Traffic and Manned Enforcement Balance

The input from Committee identified a desire to continue with ATE as opposed to going to a dedicated manned enforcement traffic only.  At the same time, Committee also indicated that they wanted to see a better balance between manned enforcement and ATE.  While reporting on this has proven difficult, especially related to the RCMP, administration will work towards this balance and reporting it in the annual report to Council identified above.

Recommendation #6 - 2016 Operational Effectiveness Review Recommendations

Although most are either complete or close to completion, administration did not want to lose sight of these previous recommendations.  Additionally, most are either required under the new Guideline or will be exceeded by additional recommendations and requests from Committee.  Some concern related to the exact 50/50 split of overt/covert in the original recommendation; however, clearly defining overt and providing data in the annual report will allow Council to further evaluate this.  The intent of both administration and Committee is to achieve a far greater balance between overt and covert vs. targeting a specific percentage.  

Recommendation #7 - Revenue Allocation

That the City maintain their existing philosophy related to allocating ATE revenue, namely that the revenue be treated consistently with all other revenue in the City and allocated to general revenue.  At the same time, Committee was consistent in their desire to see additional information included in the annual report and Corporate Plan on how ATE revenue is used to offset expenses and initiatives related to safety in the City.  This includes Protective Services (fire, police, enforcement), engineering, education, etc.  

Recommendation #8 - "In-House" vs. Contractor

Some of Committee felt that there still wasn't enough information to fully evaluate this option.  The recommendation by administration, supported by a consensus, was for administration to proceed with an RFP process for a new contract provider detailing the requirements of the City.  These requirements include a shorter term, minimal penalties for discontinuation, interactive mapping, technology improvements, and others determined by administration in line with our current services, ATE Guideline changes, and recommendations from Council.  

The report and presentation presented to Committee of the Whole on March 18, 2019 as well as the recommendations and information included in this report was the culmination of extensive research and consultation with many external and internal stakeholders including Enforcement Services, Corporate Communications, Finance, Engineering, and the RCMP.  
Following the decision by Council appropriate steps as outlined will be undertaken to ensure the effective success of the various recommendations.  

The decision of Council will be communicated and the full report posted on the City's website.  

Adherence to the timelines from the province and new Guideline will also be implemented.  

Regular updates to Council will take place in advance of the report in the fall to inform of the progress of the various recommendations.
The identified recommendations will require human resources in order to implement but administration is confident it can be done within existing core services.

The ultimate goal for administration and Council is traffic safety and the recommendations from both will ensure this outcome is achieved.  The other desired and expected outcome is increased transparency for the public on the City's goals and success in achieving greater traffic safety.     

Fiscal Impact
Financial Implications:
At this time there are no financial impacts other than through the normal budgeting processes and considerations.  Several recommendations, such as interactive mapping, require further investigation that may result in a Corporate Plan initiative being brought forward.  
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