Fewer collisions in 2014


Report on collisions in St. Albert gives indepth stats

The intersection of St. Albert Trail and Giroux/Boudreau Road has been the worst intersection for collisions for two years in a row.

The city’s 2014 collision report was released this week, packed with statistics about the intersections with the highest collisions, the type of collisions, the time of year and day most collisions happen and even the gender and age distribution of the at-fault drivers.

It turns out Grandin is the neighbourhood where a driver is most likely to end up in a collision, with 14 per cent of all the collisions in 2014 occurring in one of the city’s biggest neighbourhoods – though when the rate is adjusted for population density, downtown takes the crown.

About 58 per cent of at-fault drivers were male that year, with the aged 16-20 racking up the most collisions. Amongst women, those aged 16-20 and 31-40 were the most often at-fault.

The report points out the age group of 16-20 only represents seven per cent of the population.

The St. Albert Trail and Giroux/Boudreau Road intersection was the site of 30 collisions this year, enough to give it the top spot but down from the 55 that occurred there in 2013.

In total, there were 1,194 collisions in the city in 2014, including both public roadways and private parking lots. There were 124 injury-related collisions on public roadways.

More than half of the collisions, 56 per cent, occurred at intersections, and 44 per cent occurred at mid-block locations.

Nearly one-third of the mid-block collisions occurred during the winter months, while 34 per cent of the intersection collisions happened in the fall.

The report is full of good news in 2014, with reductions on several fronts when compared to 2013. That includes a 10 per cent collision reduction compared to 2013.

There were no collisions resulting in a fatality and a 35 per cent reduction in injury-related collisions. Motorcycle, bicycle and pedestrian collisions all decreased.

But City of St. Albert transportation manager Dean Schick cautions against toasting the year-over-year results.

“There’s a lot of good news in regards to collision reduction in 2014 compared to 2013, but I’m very hesitant to turn around and say we want to be patting ourselves on the back too soon because we want to see an overall trend in the appropriate direction. So we want to see a three-to-five-year comparison versus that year-to-year comparison,” Schick said.

City staff have already taken into account some of the information gleaned from the 2014 numbers with efforts like the new signs reminding drivers to stay back 30 metres while in motion, an effort to curb rear-end collisions.

In recent years there have also been initiatives such as the protected left hand turns and increased visibility pedestrian markings. Schick said the latter has gotten hopeful-sounding feedback from pedestrians and drivers.

There are also plans to institute a neighbourhood traffic calming policy, something Schick said will be presented to council in late January. He said the attached administrative policy will help give consistency to how traffic concerns are addressed.

The 2015 version of the report should also be available much sooner. Schick said the hope is to get it done by the end of June 2016, giving staff more time to implement any initiatives highlighted by the report.

Schick said the goal is to achieve what has been dubbed Vision Zero, which refers to having no injury or fatality-related collisions on St. Albert streets.

“This is my goal, is that we get people aware, let them know that they can contact administration with concerns, we’re looking at ways we can improve that communication process,” Schick said.


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Victoria Paterson is a Calgary-based freelance writer.