News / Calgary

How Calgary's new lane reversal on Memorial Drive will work

Upgrades at Edmonton Trail will get more vehicles into the downtown at peak morning hours starting Monday

Pylons will be used to divide lanes when the new lane reversal starts on Dec. 5. The city hopes to install lane lights in the spring.

Elizabeth Cameron / For Metro

Pylons will be used to divide lanes when the new lane reversal starts on Dec. 5. The city hopes to install lane lights in the spring.

After months of slow traffic at Memorial Drive and Edmonton Trail due to construction, drivers will see the dividends of that work this Monday as the city introduces its newest lane reversal.

How it works:

The city removed a median, and that now gives more flexibility when it comes to turning lanes. During the peak morning hours of 6 a.m. to 9 a.m., there will be more turning lanes from Memorial into the downtown.

Peak morning weekday hours:

From 6 to 9 a.m. on regular workdays, there will be two turning lanes from westbound Memorial onto the Langevin Bridge and into the downtown. Eastbound traffic will have one turning lane northbound onto Edmonton Trail.

Outside peak hours:

Eastbound traffic will have dual turning lanes onto Northbound Edmonton Trail. Westbound Memorial traffic will have one turning lane into the downtown.

How it will help:

Pat Grisak, senior leader in traffic division, said the times and directions were based on traffic studies that show how many people are trying to get into the city’s core from Memorial.

Where are the lane lights?:

Grisak said the traditional lane lights are coming, but not until the spring. When the lane reversal begins Monday, crews will head out to the intersection and set up pylons. Ad they’ll continue that daily until the lights are ready
“Next year we’ll be installing an automated laneway system. That’s the one that uses the overhead x’s and arrows to indicate which lanes are open or closed.” Grisak said.

Pedestrian enhancements:

The improvements are just for four-wheeled friends. The pedestrian lights now have countdown timers and will soon be getting audible signals for the visually impaired. The city is also adding ladder-style crosswalks to make the crossings more visible.
Best of all, there’s a new walking path along the south side of memorial between Edmonton Trail and 4th Avenue.

For cyclists:


The Edmonton Trail bike lane that connects Bridgeland to the downtown will have its own lights and a dedicated signal phase. This will make it much safer for cyclists to cross Memorial on their way to and from the core.

By the Numbers:

70% – Delay reduction for westbound traffic at peak hours

30% – Predicted improvement to traffic flow overall

$1.5 Million – estimated project cost

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