City of Camrose Addresses Traffic Signal Timing Concerns

Posted On Tuesday May 04, 2021

In 2019, the City of Camrose and Stantec Consulting completed a review of the traffic signals within the City. Prior to that study with Stantec, the City hadn’t substantially changed its traffic signal plans in over 20 years. As part of this review, Stantec examined the existing pedestrian and traffic signal timings for each of the signalized intersections along 48 avenue and compared those against current traffic and pedestrian volumes. In the end, the City and Stantec developed five new traffic signal plans to reflect the typical traffic demands at various times of the day (morning peak, lunch peak, afternoon peak, nighttime, and off-peak) and the new timing changes were implemented in June 2020.

One of the major changes in the new timing plans was the reduction or elimination of left-turn arrows at several intersections. The reason for this was to allow the maximum amount of traffic to move straight through the intersection, improving traffic flow throughout the city.

“After we reviewed the traffic counts making left-hand turns, it was evident that the few number of vehicles turning left shouldn’t impede on the larger groups of vehicles travelling straight through the intersection. For example, two vehicles turning left while 10 vehicles wait to go straight through isn’t as efficient as allowing the 10 vehicles to go through while the two vehicles wait to turn left,” says Jeremy Enarson, Manager of Engineering Services.

Another major change implemented was the timing of the left-turn signal heading south on 53 street from 48 avenue. It was determined that the left-turn arrow was still necessary at times, but the timing was changed to allow the majority of traffic to proceed through the intersection without waiting. Once the intersection turns green, the straight through movements should clear and allow for the south bound lane to empty. However, if the amount of traffic heading east doesn’t slow down and allow for the south lane to clear, the left-turn arrow is activated.

Jeremy says, “We understand that the changes may be frustrating to some and can take some time to get used to, but we are confident that these modifications have and will continue to improve traffic flow throughout the city.”