The new systems will see Leduc become a national innovator in a crosswalk technology
The City of Leduc has installed two new types of pedestrian crossing technologies, designed to help keep pedestrians safer at crosswalks by providing additional time to those in need. The innovative pieces of technology are some of the first to be used in Canada, capable of extending crossing times and lengthening light cycles based in accordance with the needs of pedestrians.
For starters, one of the new, adaptive crosswalk technologies gives pedestrians the ability to choose between two pre-programmed walk times. The time is dependent on just how long a pedestrian feels they may need in order to safely cross the intersection. The standard length of crosswalk time is activated by simply pressing the crosswalk button for one second; should users require additional time, the crosswalk button can be pressed for two seconds, giving users additional time to cross safely. The new feature has been installed at six crosswalks in Leduc; all of which are located along 50 Avenue, spanning from Discovery Way to Deer Valley Drive. Instructional signs mark the new crosswalks to help pedestrians use the new features.
Another advancement in adaptive crosswalk technology is located at the intersection of Highway 2A and 50 Street and Southfork Drive. Here, a video detection system is used to discern when pedestrians require additional time to finish crossing. The system does not lengthen the time provided by crosswalk lights; instead, it delays green traffic lights from changing, granting pedestrians sufficient time to safely exit the intersection. The green lights are extended for only a set time, as a means of limiting traffic congestion. The new video detection system will likely be activated within the coming weeks.
Intersections where wider than average road width were selected as the locations for the two new advancements in crosswalk technology. Wider intersections largely impact students crossing streets en route to and from school, as well as those with mobility restrictions who may require additional time in order to cross safely.
As opposed to extending all walk times, which would merely extend traffic lights, disrupting traffic, those using the crosswalks now have the extra time they require at said crossings
The advancements were installed on a trial basis. The intersections will be monitored over the course of several months, with adjustments being made to the systems as required.