In considering the alternative solutions to road and traffic problems in Phase 2, the proponent shall bear the following considerations in mind:

1.         Non-structural Alternatives

On the premise that structural solutions to infrastructure problems generally have negative net environmental impacts, proponents should pay particular attention to non-structural solutions in evaluating alternatives.

Such alternatives might, for example, include the imposition of controls on private development (e.g. storm water management policies which require rainwater to be discharged onto the ground rather than into a storm sewer) or changes in traffic management practices (e.g. emphasising alternative traffic routes by signing/traffic controls, or the removal of parking from roadways, rather than widening or reconstructing existing roads). Land use/zoning controls, transportation demand management measures, conservation programs, are further examples of soft technology measures which may deserve attention.

While these types of alternatives may not be effective in providing adequate solutions to immediate or critical transportation problems, they should be given serious consideration. Where possible, they should be implemented in combination with structural measures if it can be demonstrated that they can contribute to the overall solution.

For example, parking controls may allow a reduction in the size of a structural measure resulting in less environmental impact. Consideration of such alternatives would serve to focus a municipality’s responsibility for the wise management of the resources under its jurisdiction, in a manner which would avoid the development of infrastructure problems through preventative or nonstructural measures.

2.   The "Do Nothing" Alternative

Throughout Section B.2, the “Do Nothing” alternative can often be considered. In the “Do Nothing” alternative, no improvements or changes would be made to solve the identified problem or opportunity. This means that the problem would remain in the system. It does not necessarily mean, however, that no further development in the community would occur.

The “Do Nothing” alternative will be documented along with any other alternatives to the project which were examined.

The “Do Nothing” alternative may be implemented at any time during the design process prior to the commencement of construction. A decision to “Do Nothing” would typically be made when the costs of all other alternatives, both financial and environmental, significantly outweigh the benefits.

3.   Evaluation of Alternative Solutions

When evaluating alternative solutions, the following factors should be kept in mind:

  • Many of the potential alternative solutions may resolve more than one problem.
  • The feasibility of the alternative solutions will depend, in part, on the nature and location of the transportation system, the nature and location of the problem(s), the comparative cost of the alternative solutions, the pressures for growth, and on the municipality’s capacity to finance the extension of services.