New four-way-stop causing confusion
Thursday, Feb 01, 2018 06:00 am
Airdrie RCMP took the unusual step of issuing a statement Jan. 26 urging residents to use caution and patience at a new four-way stop at the intersection of Highway 566 and Eighth Street. Alberta Transportation installed the new traffic signage Jan. 24 without any warning, causing confusion for motorists.
Airdrie RCMP Media Liaison Const. Dan Martin said RCMP has received numerous inquiries about the four-way stop.
“It’s going to take a while for people to get used to. It is our duty to enforce the stop sign,” he said. “Whether it’s new or (not), it’s still a stop sign and you have to pay attention to what’s going on in front of you.”
As reported in the Jan. 16 edition of the Airdrie City View, the City of Airdrie was working with Rocky View County (RVC) to complete a number of traffic and safety studies at the intersection, with the intention of providing this information to Alberta Transportation. According to Lorne Stevens, director of Corporate Services, the City received last-minute notification the four-way stop would be installed.
“Unfortunately, we didn’t have a lot of the details about the technical components,” he said. “Realistically, it is in the province’s jurisdiction, and they’re the ones tasked with looking at those technical details to ensure whatever they’re doing is appropriate for the conditions there.
“It was, in fact, quite coincidental timing. Overall, we’re supportive that the province had looked into this and is taking action to address what is obviously some building congestion and safety concerns as traffic volumes continue increasing there.”
According to Wayne Wood, communications advisor with Alberta Transportation, the province has plans to upgrade the intersection with a double-wide roundabout as part of the Balzac interchange upgrade. Funding for the project is not yet in place, however.
“The four-way stop is an interim measure to manage traffic flow and address safety concerns,” Wood said in an email to the Airdrie City View. “In the coming weeks, flashing lights and rumble strips will be installed. Temporary sunburst ‘NEW’ signs were also installed in advance of the new stop signs to draw additional attention to motorists of the operations for the intersection.
“In the meantime, Alberta Transportation and RCMP are monitoring the intersection in terms of compliance, collision reduction and feedback from residents.”
The City and RVC will still complete a number of assessments and studies of the intersection, Stevens said.
“We are intending to move forward (with) providing that information to Alberta Transportation. We were originally going to be requesting a safety audit based on the previous configuration,” he said.
“At this point, I’m not sure exactly the tone of that correspondence to Alberta Transportation, but what we are going to do is provide information that suggests there could be other options other than just a four-way-stop.”