Campus getting its first traffic light
The development of a transit hub in front of Place Riel over the summer will involve not only significant changes to vehicle flow, but also the installation of the first traffic light on campus.
The pedestrian-activated light will be located at the intersection of Wiggins and Campus Drive, according to Facilities Management Division Planner Colin Hartl. The hub will eliminate right-hand turns onto Campus Drive from Wiggins, he said, but even with traffic turning only left at the intersection, the light is necessary to ensure pedestrian safety.
At peak periods, “there are just too many pedestrians strung out in a line to allow vehicles through that intersection,” said Hartl. The new light will use a timing system that only allows it to be activated at set intervals by people wanting to cross Campus Drive. The result is pedestrians group up to cross the street and traffic is able to flow through the intersection in the interim, making for much more efficient and safe movement of both vehicles and people.
Hartl added that to reduce visual impact, the light will feature a brushed aluminum finish and will be “a lower scale” compared to the pedestrian-activated lights on College Drive, “but it still needs to remain pretty visible for safety reasons.”
Installation of the light will take place at the same time as roadways are realigned to accommodate up to nine buses at a time on both sides of the street in front of Place Riel. The $300,000 hub project, which is part of a total revamping of the city’s transit system, will be paid for by the city, and is expected to be in operation by mid-August.