Fredericton starts ban on red light right turns
New downtown driving rules earn mixed reviews
The first business day of Fredericton's ban on red light right turns drew mixed reactions from motorists and pedestrians.
The city is testing the pilot project to see if it can make walking downtown safer for pedestrians.
While many people agree there needs to be changes to help make pedestrians safer, not everyone thinks the ban is the right way to go.
Trudy Gallagher has worked on Queen Street for seven years and she said she's doubtful the new prohibition on right turns on red lights will work.
She said too many drivers in the city are still having problems observing the existing laws at specific intersections.
"At King and Regent Street, we have a business with a very clear, large sign saying, 'Do not turn left.' And in the middle of traffic several times a day, people turn left to get in to the Tim Hortons," she said.
"So that is a huge concern."
So far, there are bans at six intersections around the city that have prohibited right turns on red lights.
Drivers will have two weeks to change their driving habits before the Fredericton Police start issuing tickets.
Researchers with the University of New Brunswick will study the pilot project. They will also examine whether vehicles only experience up to a 20 per cent increase in delay, between two to six seconds, at the designated intersections.
Tom MacLean, a city employee, will be seen throughout the summer carrying a specialized device. He will be using it to record how cars are navigating the intersections.
He is also getting a very good understanding of the relationship between drivers and pedestrians in Fredericton.
"Two ladies almost got hit by a van that was going because it was so congested … It isn't that great of a relationship most of the time," he said.
So far, MacLean said that most drivers are respecting the new rules.
"In the four hours that I worked today and like four people that have turned right on the red lights," he said.
"So considering how many people would normally do that before the signs, I think that’s a very, very good improvement."
The ban, which took effect on July 6, applies 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)
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