Fredericton drivers can once again turn right on red lights as researchers study the 11-month-long pilot project that banned the turns at six downtown intersections.

Darren Charters

Darren Charters, the city's traffic engineer, was a proponent of the pilot project to study a prohibition of right turns on red lights at six intersections. (CBC)

The city imposed the ban on right turns on red lights to see if it would make walking downtown safer for pedestrians and how the change would affect traffic flows at those six intersections.

Now the ban is off while traffic engineers study the results.

Darren Charters, the city’s traffic engineer, was a proponent of the pilot project.

Charters said consultants will be talking to groups, such as paramedics, taxi drivers and city transit drivers to get reviews of the turn ban. It was supposed to make life easier for pedestrians.

"Most times, when a vehicle comes up [to an intersection] and they have a red light, they're not looking at the pedestrian that's crossing here. They're looking to see if a car's coming," Charters said.

The report on the right turn on red lights ban will be coming to city council sometime this summer, according to the traffic engineer.

Some Fredericton residents say they feel the prohibition on the turns did not improve safety.

"I think it just caused more stress for drivers because I think the main reason there was interference between pedestrians and drivers was the fact that the traffic is already bad in Fredericton,” said Greg Profit.

Fredericton pedestrian

Fredericton imposed a ban on right turns on red lights at specific intersections to see if it would improve pedestrian safety. (CBC)

“It just made it worse by backing up traffic, so I'm glad they got rid of them."

Graeme Ellis also said he felt the ban created unnecessary delays in those intersections.

"Only two or three cars get through where normally a lot of other cars would get through,” he said.

The impact on traffic delays is one of the factors that will be examined by the University of New Brunswick researchers.

At the start of the project, the researchers wanted to find out whether vehicles only experience up to a 20 per cent increase in delays, between two to six seconds, at the designated intersections.

The pilot project applied to six intersections in the city:

  • Regent Street at Queen Street (southbound)
  • Regent Street at King Street (all directions)
  • Regent Street at Brunswick Street (northbound and eastbound)
  • Westmorland Street at Queen Street (southbound)
  • King Street at York Street (all directions)
  • Westmorland Street at Brunswick Street (northbound and eastbound)
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(City of Fredericton)