Traffic in downtown Victoria could see some major changes following the hiring of a traffic consultant by the City of Victoria.
Peter Truch has been hired from Kelowna to identify any problems with traffic flow and light schedules at 52 intersections in the downtown core, which hasn’t seen system updates since 2009.
“They’ll look at how they operate individually and how they operate in a network and let us know what’s performing well and what’s not,” said Brad Delleburr, transportation manager at the City of Victoria. “Then they’re going to provide us with an optimized traffic signal network.”
At individual intersections, Truch and his team will look at the walking speed of pedestrians, and likely extend the amount of time people have to cross the road.
“This would reflect with the aging demographic which probably needs a slower walking speed,” Dellebuur explained.
Truch would also explore changes in traffic volumes and patterns at individual intersections to see if an increase or decrease in green time is required, or any additional phases – such as advanced left turns – should be added in.
On a larger scale, Truch will explore if the downtown network needs longer cycle lengths; currently most currently run between 65 to 70 second. This could be affected by elements such as advanced left turns and separate lights for cyclists.
Lastly, the team will look at the progression of lights, something that is also called a “green wave,” which theoretically should see a staggering of lights that would avoid a continued stop-and-go from a green light meeting a red light.
“We may make some tweaks between Fort Street and Pandora Street on Blanshard, where people see that on a regular basis,” Dellebuur said. “Though of course, we need to balance that with the east-west movement.”
The City has allotted $40,000 for Truch to conduct the study. Truch began in October and plans on providing an optimized plan by the end of December or in early January.
Once a plan is established, each intersection will have to be adjusted individually, but Dellebuur says by early spring a more optimized traffic flow should be in place.
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