Friday, 12 Jul 2024

Committee looks to put more Edmonton photo radar money into crosswalks

A city council proposal would see more of Edmonton’s photo radar revenue earmarked to upgrade crosswalks.

Council’s community services committee heard Wednesday only a small fraction of identified crossings are set to have work done by the end of next year.

Twenty-one of the 70 priority crosswalks had been updated as of October, with 49 more expected to be done by the end of 2019.

Of the remaining 589 crosswalks requiring upgrades, the review done by the Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) identified 408 that should be considered for interim safety measures. The remaining 181 crosswalks need upgrades but were deemed low priority.

The committee agreed with a motion by Councillor Tim Cartmell to accelerate the program using a larger share of photo radar cash.

“Do more of them faster, quite simply,” he told reporters.

“Let’s migrate some of that money and do more of them as soon as we can.”

At the rate the city is going, it would take 15 years to work through the list.

The new proposal would tackle many crosswalks that are lower on the list.

“This would allow us to put more of the lesser equipment at more places in the interim,” Cartmell said.

That includes flashing lights at the side of the road for those that aren’t equipped electronically now.

Other technology updates would see flashing lights above the crosswalk or — the final and most significant stage — lights with the familiar red, amber and green signals.

The financial upgrade would cost $3 million and potentially save three additional lives, based on OTS stats.

That option would mean interim measures would be in place for all 408 priority crosswalks in 10 years, and the whole upgrade plan would be done by 2029.

Priority spots include many school areas and roads with inclines where you can’t see the intersection until you reach the crest of the hill.

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