5 ways Edmonton says it's made roads safer after Vision Zero
Critics say the measures are a good first-step but further work needs to be done
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The city is releasing details on new pedestrian safety measures it’s created since launching Vision Zero. So far it says it has improved 30 intersections by redesigning right lane turn-offs, installing flashing pedestrian signage or improving sign visibility. But Dr. Darren Markland, a critical care physician at the Royal Alex who’s criticized the city's slow action on Vision Zero, said Tuesday the new measures are a first step, but more is needed, like redesigned intersections, narrow streets and protected crosswalks.
1. Pedestrian signals
The city installed pedestrian signals or flashers at 13 locations in 2016. The result is safety, according to Coun. Bev Esslinger. Prior to adding a pedestrian signal at the 109 Street and 83 Avenue intersection, cars would rear-end one another because vehicles in front would stop abruptly to let pedestrians cross, she said.
2. Traffic sign visibility
The city upgraded signal visibility at nine locations in 2016, while also adding overhead signal lights at 11 intersections along 170 Street. To improve traffic sign visibility, the city installed new blackboards around those traffic lights. The city estimates the upgrades can reduce collisions 7 to 15 per cent.
3. School zone upgrades
The city created tailored plans for 13 Edmonton schools after identifying their safety concerns. For example, Elizabeth Finch school now has three rapid-flashing pedestrian lights, stop signs, centreline lane markings, driver feedback signs and a zebra crosswalk.
4. Speed feedback signs
By the end of 2016, there will be more than 100 speed feedback signs on Edmonton streets. The signs tells drivers how fast they’re going and flash rapidly if a they're zipping past above the speed limit. Esslinger said those signs encourage drivers to comply with speed limits.
5. Right-turn channel redesigns
The city upgraded right-turn channels at three intersections. The upgrades slower speeds because the lane is narrower while ensuring there’s enough space to stop Pedestrian visibility also improves because the sidewalks are raised. The city said there has been a 75 per cent reduction in collisions at upgraded sites.