Transportation

Objectives

  • Support a balanced regional transportation system that provides accessibility, connectivity, mobility, and economic activity with appropriate levels of service
  • Integrate transportation planning with regional land use planning and development policies to provide more effective responses to future development and mobility needs
  • Support efforts by P4G members to improve local circulation and build fiscally sustainable transportation infrastructure
  • Coordinate regional transportation planning with the province to support efficient, integrated solutions to mobility requirements
  • Explore future opportunities to expand mobility options and improve accessibility in the P4G Region

 

Context

A summary map of the regional transportation system is shown in Exhibit 4. Key elements of this map include the following:

  • Saskatoon Freeway. Once complete, the Saskatoon Freeway, a future provincial ring road around the current boundaries of the City of Saskatoon, will be an important regional transportation bypass. The map shows both the approved alignments in the north, as well as the options for routes in the southeast and southwest. Once routes are finalized, a functional study will be conducted by the province to develop the design of the freeway.
  • Freeway interchanges. The interchanges of the Saskatoon Freeway are not yet finalized. Potential locations for interchanges are noted on the map where the freeway will cross existing provincial highways; these locations are pending a functional design by the Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure (MHI).
  • Grade-separated crossings. The map notes locations where the Saskatoon Freeway will intersect with planned extensions of major routes. Grade-separated crossings, such as overpasses or service interchanges, will be required in these locations. These crossings should be discussed with MHI and may be adjusted or changed to service interchanges based on the final design of the freeway.
  • Additional interchanges. In addition to the interchanges proposed for the Saskatoon Freeway, other interchanges have been proposed to improve connections between regional transportation routes. Three of these interchanges (Highway 16 at Boychuk Road, Highway 12 at Martensville, and Highway 11 at Highway 305) have been approved, with planning and construction underway.
  • River crossings. A major obstacle for highway development and transportation access is the South Saskatchewan River. Although two new bridges associated with the North Commuter Parkway and the Saskatoon Freeway have been planned, additional river crossings will be necessary in the north to facilitate access. The locations provided are conceptual, and should be reviewed through additional studies.
  • Airports. The Saskatoon John G. Diefenbaker International Airport is a key regional transportation component, and potential airport expansion areas are identified in Exhibit 4. Additionally, the Richter Field Aerodrome to the west of Martensville is currently in use and will impact urban development in future growth areas.

 

Regional Actions

P4G and its affiliated municipalities should pursue the following actions, given the nature of the regional system and the needs for future planning and coordination:

Regional Planning

    • Maintain the regional Travel Demand Model. P4G members have worked with the province to develop a regional Travel Demand Model (TDM) for the P4G Region. P4G should continue to partner with the province to update and use the TDM as needed. The TDM should be used to inform transportation planning for concept and sector plans, and all members should be encouraged to use this model for transportation planning work.
    • Develop a Regional Transportation Plan. Ongoing efforts by municipalities for developing strategies for long-term transportation investments should be coordinated with a Regional Transportation Plan developed by P4G. This Plan should be informed by the regional TDM, and identify and prioritize joint projects between municipalities.
    • Plan for road/highway crossings of the Green Network Study Area and other sensitive areas.Transportation access to some areas in the P4G Region will depend on construction activities in sensitive areas, including locations identified as part of the Green Network Study Area. P4G should work to collaborate to ensure that transportation projects in these areas are designed to minimize impacts to natural and ecological resources, and conveyance and drainage of stormwater.
    • Coordinate with provincial highways planning. The province is currently coordinating the planning of the Saskatoon Freeway, which will include a functional study to establish the right-of-way and determine major access points. P4G should support ongoing efforts to coordinate regional planning with provincial highway planning in this area, with a focus on:

 

    • The final alignments for the southwest and southeast portions of the Saskatoon Freeway
    • Determination of interchanges and grade-separated crossings along the Saskatoon Freeway, especially those that provide access to rural and urban growth areas in the east and northeast
    • Coordination of planning for interchanges to ensure access to future growth areas close to these alignments
    • Planning for additional grade-separated crossings over other provincial highways

 

Airports

  • Coordinate ongoing dialogue with the Saskatoon John G. Diefenbaker International Airport. As a key transportation and logistics resource for the P4G Region, coordination of development surrounding the Saskatoon John G. Diefenbaker International Airport should be coordinated with the Saskatoon Airport Authority. This should not only be performed to minimize land use conflicts, but also promote expansion of airport facilities and supporting commercial/industrial development in areas identified on the Regional Land Use Map.
  • Coordinate ongoing dialogue with the Richter Field Aerodrome. The area surrounding Richter Field west of Martensville will experience urban development pressures over time, and the potential for land use conflicts with the Aerodrome should be managed. Ongoing dialogue should be coordinated to ensure that impacts of both the Aerodrome and surrounding urban development are considered.

 

Local Actions

  • Support the identification of local transportation improvements in detailed secondary planning. Identifying and prioritizing local transportation improvements, including the joint projects identified as part of the Regional Transportation Plan noted above, should be coordinated for future urban growth areas through the development of Concept Plans and other detailed secondary planning. Future plans should identify the required improvements necessary to support planned development in these areas, and link with the Regional Transportation Plan to coordinate investment.
  • Plan for additional river crossings. Future regional mobility will be dependent on coordinating additional river crossings across the South Saskatchewan River. P4G should work to coordinate planning between P4G and the province to identify potential river crossings and protect these areas from incompatible development.
  • Coordinate with First Nations on transportation improvements. As with other infrastructure systems, municipalities should work to coordinate with First Nations on joint planning and funding for transportation projects that would service treaty land entitlements and reserve lands. This may include cost-sharing arrangements, as well as joint applications of funding for transportation improvements.

 

Other Transportation

  • Future work in regional transit planning. For the purposes of the Servicing Strategy, the consideration of regional transit planning is outside of the scope of this work, but should be considered by P4G as the Region grows. During regular reviews of the Regional Plan and supporting infrastructure and servicing policies, P4G should examine the potential role of regional transit and determine whether further work should be coordinated.
  • Future work in rail transportation planning. Rail systems in the P4G Region provide important links for cargo transportation that support commercial and industrial activity, and two major regional rail yards are currently located within the City of Saskatoon. Additionally, rail lines throughout the P4G Region provide key transportation connections that support the local economy. P4G should work with rail companies and other agencies to ensure that future planning considers rail infrastructure and potential needs for expansion.