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Touchless pedestrian devices come to Regina intersections

Touchless pedestrian signals have been installed at 17 intersections, allowing people to activate the crossing signals through a sensor without needing to touch the buttons. . Adrian Raaber / Global News

New pedestrian devices have been installed at several intersections in Regina as the city works to achieve its goal of an accessible and inclusive community.

The new devices include touchless signals, leading pedestrian interval signals and temporary safety curb ramps.

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The touchless pedestrian signals have been installed at 17 different intersections, allowing people to activate the crossing signals through a sensor without needing to physically touch the buttons.

The signals also emit a sound to help people with visual impairments to cross intersections safely.

Users can also continue to press the button like a traditional pedestrian signal if they choose.

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Leading pedestrian signals have been implemented at six locations in the city that see both high-pedestrian traffic and a lot of turning vehicles.

“At these locations, the ‘Walk’ signal for pedestrians will be activated ahead of the green traffic light for vehicles in the same direction,” a city release stated.

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“This allows pedestrians a head start to enter the intersection and reduces the time spent crossing during the green light. It also makes pedestrians more visible to vehicles turning.”

According to the city, studies have shown that leading pedestrian interval signals can reduce pedestrian-involved collisions by up to 60 per cent.

Carolyn Kalim, manager for traffic engineering for the city, said Regina is always evaluating its technology, and the arrival of this new technology has timed out well.

“I think the touchless aspect will definitely benefit any concerns with germ transmission, obviously our current pandemic is something that probably encouraged the different technology developers to release this product and I think it’s been well received in other jurisdictions,” Kalim said.

The city is installing the devices at new intersections or any intersections undergoing rehabilitation, or planned construction.

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Temporary safety curb ramps create a safe transition between the sidewalk curb and street at intersections that currently have no ramp built into the sidewalk.

These curb ramps will be piloted at two mid-block crossings including on James Hill Road in front of Harbour Landing Village as well as the intersection of 7th Avenue East and Graham Road.

Kalim said the city will be looking for feedback from users through services requests and different groups the city works with.

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