Left-hand turn light changes coming to St. Albert Trail
Protected/prohibited turning to be put in early 2014
| Posted: Wednesday, Dec 11, 2013 06:00 am
Protected left-hand turns are coming to the St. Albert Trail in early 2014.
While some intersections already have protected/prohibited left hand turns, implementation of that system for both northbound and southbound St. Albert Trail traffic is expected from St. Albert Trail near the Superstore all the way to St. Albert Trail and Boudreau/Giroux roads intersection.
Protected/prohibited left-hand turns mean that drivers turning left will get a green arrow. Once the green arrow is gone no more turns will be allowed. This is different from the protected/permissive system that is currently in place at some of the intersections where after the green arrow allows left-turns only, those trying to cross traffic can still advance into the intersection and make the turn on a solid green.
“It’s safer,” said David Hales, the city’s general manager of planning and engineering.
In addition to the turns being adjusted on the trail, protected/prohibited turns will also be implemented for eastbound traffic on Gervais Road and St. Anne Street and westbound on Hebert Road aand McKenney Avenue.
Hales said the changes would help improve traffic flow along the trail.
“Hopeful implementation, we’re looking at March,” Hales said.
While March is when drivers should notice the switch, work is already underway on making the change. Hales said retiming of the lights started this summer. From November to February new signal head equipment is being installed and some additional wiring is being completed. There will also be communication with the public ahead of the changes.
“The residents aren’t going to really notice a difference as a driver,” Hales said. “What we’re doing is changing the relative timing between the signals but from a driver’s standpoint they’re just going to get signals.”
Still, Hales said the project will make traffic flow more smoothly on St. Albert Trail.
Hales said the costs of changing to the left-turn protected/prohibited system is about $42,000.
“It’s making the trail safer. And that’s kind of the first stage of improvements we would ultimately do on the trail,” Hales said.