Saturday, 31 October 2015

109 St Jasper Ave. Part 1

In West Downtown, 109 St is a major artery. It is also a bit of a chokepoint for buses on Jasper Ave. A new bus route could be added on 109 itself. I mentioned this in my BRT post. It also suffers from a lack of good pedestrian and bicycle accommodation, and it is not a friendly place to be walking or biking now. Just look at it:Jasper Ave 109 St. It allows right turns on red, which is another safety risk. The waiting times are also often a bit long, especially at night.

First, lets try to disperse the traffic on 109. Promoting alternate routes to the High Level Bridge will help a lot, and diverting traffic onto the Dawson, Groat Road and 98 Ave/Conners Road bridges will also do a lot. The LRT which could be built at some point on a roughly parallel route also works nicely. This will lower the volumes considerably.

Second, we need to redesign the intersection. Add cycle tracks, bus lanes, removing parking which slows traffic down because cars have to be very slow in order to not hit anything while parking, a raised intersection design, and banning left turns by private motor vehicle (SUVs, cars, motorcycles and vans essentially), banning right turns on red, except by bicycle, adding waiting time indicators, bus traffic light priority and a simultaneous green design here will aid the intersection considerably.

I chose simultaneous green because of it's helpfulness at smaller intersections, dense areas and areas where cyclists are likely to come from every which way. It also allows left turns in one go.

A 40 km/h speed limit will help traffic flow smoother.

Another aspect of this is the use of actuation, rest in red, flashing modes, and the ability for the signal controller to not be tied to a set pattern of cycles. During late nights, the signals will go to flashing amber and flashing red. The red (meaning stop and then let other traffic go first) will be shown to 109 St, and flashing amber, which just tells you that the cross street has flashing red and that you need to be extra careful, will be shown to Jasper Ave. This also applies to the bicycle specific signals. The actuation means that pedestrians get a passive detector, be it thermal, motion, or maybe something else, plus an extra button, just in case. Cyclists get inductive loops, one 50 metres away and one near the stop line, and an extra push button, again, in case the loops do not detect you (there would be some indication that it as acknowledged, like a beep and a small red light). Motor traffic gets inductive loops too, and the bus lanes get inductive loops but also a traffic signal priority transmitter.

So what would this look like? Here is my vision physically. See the next post for part two.
Top down


  1. Are the straight-on lanes conflicting with the straight-on lanes on the other side of the intersection? Seems like they're lined up. Are they meant to merge into the one lane after crossing the intersection?
    I've drawn arrows to show the conflict (left panel) and a proposed solution: 2 bus lanes on both sides of the intersection and getting rid of the dedicated turning lane (right panel):

    1. The I light for the buses would let them go ahead of traffic without the rest of traffic having permission to proceed. It lets them merge back into traffic. I probably should have drawn markings to show this.


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