File Photo

Pedestrian crossings investigated for safety concerns

Town and Council also looked at the intersection at Hwy 20 and Herder Drive

The Town has been investigating pedestrian crossings in Sylvan Lake, which have garnered concerns from the public. Along with the pedestrian crossing review, the Town is looking at making the Hwy 20 and Herder Drive intersection safer for motorists and pedestrians.

Town administration along with CIMA+, from Calgary, reviewed six crossings to determine if additional safety measures are required and if side mounted Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons (RRFB) at these locations.

The crossings looked at were; 47 Street and 47 Avenue, 48 Street and 47 Avenue, 45 Avenue between 47 Street and 48 Street (mid-block trail crossing), 50 (Centennial) Street north of H.J. Cody School (mid-block trail crossing), Old Boomer Road and Falcon Ridge Drive and Old Boomer Road and Firdale Drive.

CIMA+ came to the conclusion a few of the locations looked into do not need further safety enhancements, including side mounted RRFB‘s or the installation of pedestrian bulb—outs. However these locations could benefit from the use of an overhead RRFB pedestrian crossing system. These locations included the intersection at 47 Street and 47 Avenue and at 48 Street and 47 Avenue, as well as the mid-block trail crossing north of H.J. Cody School.

The mid-block trail crossing at 45 Avenue between 47 Street and 48 Street is considered a good candidate for both a side-mounted RRFBs and pedestrian bulb-outs. The crossings at Old Boomer Road and Falcon Ridge Drive and Old Boomer Road and Firdale Drive are candidates for the same treatment.

Currently the Transportation Association of Canada (TAC) does not have guidelines in places for the use of RRFBs, but are expected to updated its standards soon. The City of Calgary has a pilot program in place using RRFBs where they have seen a “significant increase in yielding” with the use of RRFBs.

Administration proposed to Council to consider adding these safety features to the six locations at a future date.

CIMA+ has also been working with town administration to investigate the traffic concerns at the Herder Drive and Hwy 20 intersection.

This intersection has caused concerns, mostly with eastbound traffic. The eastbound lanes have a straight through-left turn lane and a right turn only lane, but drivers routinely use the right lane for straight through movements. The concern with this practise is it has caused numerous “near misses” at this intersection.

Additional signs were posted for right turn only, however the posted traffic controls have been continuously ignored by drivers.

Council has agreed to move forward with a detailed design and and construction of improvements to the intersection. These improvements include the installation of permanent delineations between pedestrians and vehicle traffic on Cuendet Industrial Way between Highway 20 and Beju Industrial Trail.

The construction will include the closer of the of the furthest outside lanes on both Herder Drive and Cuendet Industrial Way going away from Highway 20 and adding barriers or curbs to protect pedestrians. This is expected to link the Beju Industrial Train with the sidewalk on Herder Drive.

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