EDMONTON – The delays for motorists at Metro LRT crossings have been well documented, but how are people waiting to cross the tracks on foot being impacted?
Two intersections in particular are seeing quite a bit of congestion: 106 Street and 111 Avenue, and 106 Street and Princess Elizabeth Avenue.
With a shopping mall, hospital, school and other businesses, the area sees a lot of traffic – vehicular and pedestrian.
When the LRT is not passing through the intersections, pedestrians cross with the light and move around as usual. However, when train movement is detected, everything seems to come to a halt.
Global News measured the waits at crosswalks Monday morning. In one instance, pedestrians had to wait five minutes and 22 seconds to cross the road. In another instance, they had to wait nearly six-and-a-half minutes.
“The sequence of the lights is just totally messed up,” said one man waiting to cross. “It’s totally wrong.
“There are too many times when all the traffic is stopped and nobody is moving.”
“You try not to get too frustrated because there’s not much you can do about it,” said another pedestrian.
City Councillor Bev Esslinger said she hadn’t heard much about the line’s impact on those on foot.
“I haven’t heard a lot from pedestrians with concerns about their wait,” she said. “That’s something we have to factor in because we really want to encourage all active modes of transportation.”
Other pedestrians voiced concerns about the longer – much colder – waits during the winter months.
The Metro LRT line opened Sept. 6.
One week earlier, a city report revealed there could be significant traffic delays on key routes during peak rush hours. Testing of the Metro Line found in the worst-case scenario, drivers could wait up to 16 minutes at two specific intersections in the Kingsway area.
The first true test came after the Labour Day Weekend, when back-to-school and post-long weekend traffic mixed with the Metro Line. Global News tracked traffic for several hours during the morning commute, finding in many cases it took two to three light cycles for traffic to clear the intersections at 106 Street and 111 Avenue, and 106 and Princess Elizabeth Avenue.