Fact Sheet – Traffic
PREPARING FOR GROWTH
Light Rail Transit (LRT) is a key part of the City of Edmonton’s plan to keep people moving as Edmonton’s population continues to grow. LRT offers a long-term, sustainable option that can efficiently move thousands of people to residential, commercial and institutional destinations. The City’s newest LRT extension, the Metro Line, is expected to bring more than 13,000 new LRT passengers to Edmonton’s LRT network, reducing the overall number of cars on the road.
The Metro Line operates at street level between the new LRT stations between the new LRT stations at MacEwan and NAIT, and it will bring changes to traffic patterns on surrounding and intersecting roadways, including:
- 105 Ave/105 Street intersection
- 105 Street/106 Ave intersection
- 105 Street/107 Ave intersection
- 111 Ave
- Princess Elizabeth Ave/106 Street intersection
The City has taken several steps to reduce traffic impacts, including adjustments to roadways and fine-tuning traffic signals at Metro Line intersections. Nevertheless, the Metro Line will cause traffic delays by increasing congestion at several intersections, most notably 111 Ave and the Princess Elizabeth Ave/106 Street intersection. Some traffic delays are unavoidable, especially during peak periods. Please see the map on Pg. 2 of this Fact Sheet.
TRAFFIC FLOW OPTIMIZATION
Metro Line trains will have full priority at intersections, which means that trains will override traffic signal operations as they move through intersections. Traffic lights will flash, bells will ring and crossing gates will lower as a train approaches the intersection, giving priority to the train movements. Extra traffic signal phases may be required at certain intersections in order to safely clear vehicles and pedestrians from the intersection.
Traffic signals for the Metro Line will generally follow three phases:
- An oncoming train initiates a call to traffic signals.
- LRT signal lights flash, bells ring, crossing gates lower.
- The train clears the intersection, the crossing gates raise, LRT signal lights stop flashing, bells stop ringing and traffic signals resume normal operation.
In order to reduce traffic delays and help traffic flow as smoothly as possible the City has taken several steps:
- Engaged in extensive modelling to determine the effects Metro Line Operations will have on traffic in the area.
- Improved traffic signals to provide the fastest recovery time after a train passes, giving priority to directions with heaviest traffic flow.
- Coordinated Metro Line train movements with traffic signals to reduced the amount of time LRT signal lights, bells and crossing gates must remain activated (e.g. by timing northbound and southbound trains to cross intersections at the same time).
The City is closely monitoring Metro Line intersections to find ways to improve traffic flow and decrease overall traffic impacts. As signalling work on the Metro Line continues trains will increase speed and frequency. When the Metro Line signalling system is fully operational traffic impacts will remain similar to initial operations.
PLANNING YOUR DRIVE
While steps have been taken to help traffic flow as smoothly as possible between trains, motorists driving in areas around the Metro Line will experience some delays. Please exercise patience when driving in areas near the Metro Line and obey traffic and LRT signs and signals. Based on previous experience with the Capital Line, the City expects traffic wait times to decrease as motorists grow accustomed to Metro Line operations, find alternate routes and allow more travel time.