Roundabouts are one of two scenarios identified in the long-range master plan for 100 Avenue.
by Colin Smith
Development of a transportation master plan for Morinville is moving ahead. Town Council received an update on the plan at its regular meeting last week.
An outline by consultants Bunt & Associates presented to Council indicated that four phases of the seven-phase plan are complete, with another almost completed.
The completed phases are the development of a strategic framework, the first round of consultation and communications, an analysis of existing and future conditions, and traffic forecasting/modelling.
Working out improvement strategies is 90 per cent completed.
Still to come are a second round of communications and consultation and the reporting phase.
A major focus of the update is planning for 100 Avenue, which is currently used by about 9,000 vehicles per day and sees the highest number of collisions of any road in town.
In 25 years, the number of vehicles on 100 Avenue is expected to jump to 21,500 per day.
The long-range plan calls for the avenue to be divided. It currently has 30 access points, many of which would be relocated or closed. All-directional access would be limited to four key intersections: 107 Street, 104 Street, 102 Street, and 100 Street. All other access would be right-in/right-out.
Also planned is traffic management either through the installation of three roundabouts or, alternatively, traffic signals.
“Regardless of whether signals or roundabouts are installed at key intersections, access management along the corridor will be key to the overall performance and safety of the road,” the update states.
The plan update suggests that roundabouts would be less costly than traffic signal installation in terms of right-of-way, construction and maintenance costs.
The three planned roundabouts would have expected right-of-way costs of $6 million and cost $5.3 million to build, while three traffic signal layouts would cost $12.5 million for right-of-way and $5.2 to $6.6 million for construction. The signals would also result in an extra $3 -$4 million in operations and maintenance costs.
The document also identified numerous other advantages of roundabouts, including reducing vehicle speeds and collision frequency, increased pedestrian safety, better fuel efficiency and opportunities for landscaping.
Council received the update as information.