by Tristan Turner with files from Ashley Janes
Chun Man, Transportation Engineer for Urban Systems, made a presentation to Morinville Town Council Oct. 28 regarding the $25,000 transportation study approved in the 2014 budget. The project was initially identified through the Traffic Advisory Committee in their annual Traffic and Pedestrian Safety Report and a final technical report is due in the next couple of weeks.
Man said his company reviewed signage layouts and crosswalks throughout town, with data provided by David Schaefer, Direcotr of Coporate Operations, and his staff. Once that was completed, the company also took a look at some RCPM speed data to understand speeding issues occurring around the study area.
A number of traffic and safety items were considered, including traffic signage in the community, crosswalk locations and markings, school and playground zones, emergency lighting requirements for the fire hall, as well as defining problem areas based on current industry standards.
Man said there were three key problem areas identified in the study. “Traffic, signage and pavement markings was identified as the first problem,” Man said. “The second was road design and geometry that contributed to some of the speeding issues that were occurring around town. And the third was the guiding documents that were available on the Town’s website.”
The consultant said the aim of the project was to develop consistency in how signs are displayed and crosswalks determined in local playgrounds / school zones. Additionally, the project looked to establish criteria for the emergency vehicle signal light implementation.
One specific concern brought up during the public presentation was the use of yield signs instead of stop signs at intersections around schools. Man said the usage raises concerns about vulnerable users, including young children, crossing the corridor. “The question we ask ourselves here is why are we allowing vehicles to roll through the intersection when we know there could be vulnerable users accessing the street,” Man said.
Man also brought up the issue of road design and geometry, saying roads, including 100 Avenue and 100 Street, were designed to be 70 kilometre per hour roads rather than 50 km/h roads. Because of the open design, speeding is encouraged. The consultant recommended traffic calming measures be implimented into the road design to naturally slow traffic down at intersections.
A final technical report is due mid-November.