More than 600 Edmonton intersections need upgrades, report shows

The city has identified 659 intersections in Edmonton that need crosswalks, pedestrian signals or other upgrades to help make them safer.

Report shows $58 million needed to improve intersections not on top 70 priority list

The city says 70 of 659 intersections flagged for upgrades in Edmonton require immediate action. (CBC)

The city has identified 659 locations in Edmonton that need crosswalks, pedestrian signals or other upgrades to help make them safer, a new city report shows.

The city has also compiled a top 70 priority list showing intersections that require "immediate action." Those are scheduled to be upgraded by the end of 2019.

Coun. Andrew Knack requested the crosswalk priority list in January.  

Knack told CBC News on Thursday he had the impression there were 200 to 250 that required overhauls.

"So to see just how many more there were, was pretty startling," he said.

The city has installed upgrades to 15 of the top 70, including the intersection at Kingsway and Tower Road, where a 16-year-old girl was hit and killed two weeks ago.

Upgrades to the number one priority intersection at 107th Avenue and 106th Street won't happen until later this year, or in 2019.

The city plans to install a pedestrian signal there, to replace the marked crosswalk where five pedestrian-involved collisions have happened in the past five years. 
The six-lane intersection on 118th Avenue at 125th Street has no marked crosswalk and is ranked number 32 on the top-70 priority list. (CBC)

The second-highest priority intersection is 105A Avenue at 101th Street, which had nine pedestrian collisions between 2012 and 2017.

It will cost $4 million to upgrade the 70 intersections with pedestrian signals and traffic signals and would cost another $58 million to upgrade the remaining 589.

Some intersections are unmarked and are slated to get pedestrian signals. Others will get amber flashing lights or rapid flashing beacons

The intersection at Kingsway and Tower Road has been upgraded, the only one of the top 10 most dangerous spots. (City of Edmonton)

Current budget $2M annually

Under the current budget of $2 million a year, it would take about 29 years to complete all current locations.

"We can't wait 30 years for some of these locations," Knack told CBC News.  "I don't want to have to go back to the community and say, 'Well, in three decades we will have gotten to your location, so you know, just hang tight.' "

It costs $150,000 to install pedestrian activated signals and $100,000 to install overhead pedestrian amber flashers.

The city also has the option to use interim measures such as rapid flashing beacons, which cost about $25,000 for solar-powered and $40,000 for those that run on electrical power.

At a meeting Tuesday, council deferred a decision to lower speed limits in residential neighbourhoods. At that meeting, Coun. Michael Walters said he's more concerned about safety at intersections.

"What I hear most about in my ward is crosswalks and school traffic safety," he said. 
The intersection at 107th Avenue and 106th Street is the highest priority in Edmonton and is slated to get a pedestrian signal this year or in 2019. (CBC)

The city's community and public services committee is expected to discuss the report and crosswalk priorities May 2.

The report was published the same day the city released 2017 results on its Vision Zero initiative. The report shows Edmonton did not meet its targets in the second year of the program.

The city's goal was to have fewer than than 20 fatalities related to traffic collisions; there were 27. They were aiming for fewer than 325 serious injury collisions, and the report said there were 341.



Natasha Riebe


Natasha Riebe landed at CBC News in Edmonton after radio, TV and print journalism gigs in Halifax, Seoul, Yellowknife and on Vancouver Island. Please send tips in confidence to natasha.riebe@cbc.ca.