Changes made to improve safety at 30 Edmonton intersections

The city of Edmonton has made changes at 30 intersections in an effort to make them safer as part of its Vision Zero plan. The work done in 2016, the first year of the plan, includes upgrades to 13 pedestrian crosswalks.

The city spent $5.7M on improvements to 30 intersections in 2016 as part of Vision Zero

In March 2016, an 81-year-old female pedestrian was killed in a collision at Groat Road and 111th Avenue. (Patrick Knowles/CBC)

The city has made changes at 30 intersections as part of its Vision Zero Edmonton plan to reduce traffic fatalities.

The work done in 2016, the first year of the plan, included upgrades to 13 pedestrian crosswalks — either new pedestrian crossing lights or retrofits to existing pedestrian signals.

The work also included the installation of 15 turn-on-the-arrow-only left-turn signals and the redesign of three right-turn channels.

More than 50 new digital driver feedback speed signs have also been installed across the city, and upgrades made in 13 school zones, as part of the initiative.

"We want to add any kind of measure that's going to improve safety opportunities for people," Coun. Bev Esslinger said Tuesday.
"Each one of these changes means that more Edmontonians will make it home safely at the end of each day," said Coun. Bev Esslinger on Tuesday. (Lydia Neufeld/CBC)

"We still have to take personal responsibility. Whether you're a driver or pedestrian, we need to be aware of our surroundings, but this is going to aid in that."

All of the intersections have logged high collision rates. 

For example, a pedestrian signal light was added at 109th Street and 85th Avenue, which saw 73 collisions in five years, Esslinger said.

Vision Zero goal

The point of Vision Zero is to reduce the chances of a fatality or serious injury, said Esslinger.

"If we decrease speed, pedestrians have a better chance. For every [10 km/h] of reduction their ability to survive or not be seriously injured is improved," she added.

The city has spent $5.7M on intersection improvements and signage through the program.

The money is from the traffic safety reserve fund, which is funded solely through photo radar tickets.

To date in Edmonton this year, nine pedestrians have been killed and 218 injured in a total of 214 collisions. In some collisions, more than one pedestrian has been hit.