Why are you reducing the number of lanes and how will traffic capacity be affected?
The City has recently made a significant commitment to traffic safety by reducing the speed limit to 40 km/h on most residential roads. At the time this speed limit reduction was implemented, 21 roadway corridors were identified as “exceptions”, including 132 Avenue. These exception roadways continue to have a 50 km/h posted speed limit, and due to the nature of these roadways, with multiple, wider lanes, speeds around 60 km/h or more are often recorded. The City’s intent is to rebuild these exception roads to more appropriately reflect their residential context and encourage safer driving behaviours. Once rebuilt, an exception road will no longer be an exception, and the speed limit will be lowered accordingly to 40 km/h.
132 Avenue is currently built to serve larger amounts of traffic volumes than it experiences. Traffic volumes in the future are anticipated to remain consistent as the local neighbourhoods in the area are established and mature. By reconfiguring the lanes on 132 Avenue to fit a more residential feel, space is freed up to support other road users, including people who walk, roll and bike, and for additional tree plantings and snow storage.
The existing roadway configuration changes multiple times along 132 Avenue between Fort Road and 127 Street. Primarily, 132 Avenue currently has a minimum of two lanes of traffic with one lane in each direction, and in some sections, four lanes of traffic with two lanes in each direction. At major road intersections, there are up to five lanes of traffic, which include turning lanes. During the early stages of engagement, we heard from residents that there are too many speed limit changes along 132 Avenue, that there is speeding and that the road is wide and confusing to navigate.
Taking all of the above into consideration, the draft design has a consistent number of driving lanes by ensuring one lane of traffic in each direction at minimum, with consideration to keeping turn lanes near major intersections similar to what they are today. This retains existing driving and traffic capacity along 132 Avenue, while encouraging more appropriate speeds along this corridor.
How will emergency services be accommodated in the design and provide service along 132 Avenue? How will they access homes?
The designs for 132 Avenue meet the City’s Design and Construction Standards (CDSCS) which were developed to accommodate emergency services requirements. All designs are circulated to Fire Rescue Services to ensure that it meets their needs and allows them to provide the same level of service to the area.
How will school drop-off and pick-up be affected by the design changes?
A parking or loading lane is maintained next to the schools along 132 Avenue to support pick-up and drop-off. Parking is defined by curb extensions near intersections to improve sightlines for students crossing.
The project team has been working directly with the school boards to understand their drop-off and bus loading needs to ensure that they are accommodated.