Too many crosswalks on #616 through Millet: Alberta Transportation

Too many crosswalks on #616 through Millet: Alberta Transportation

Flashing lights won’t solve any crosswalk problems says Russ Watts

Millet town council discussed some traffic issues in the municipality with a representative of Alberta Transportation May 23 during their regular council meeting.

Russ Watts, representing Alberta Transportation, discussed a number of traffic issues within the town. They started by discussing pedestrian crosswalks on Sec. Hwy. #616 from the west edge of town to Hwy. #2A.

Watts stated that Alberta Transportation is doing an examination of all crosswalks. As he entered Millet to attend the council meeting Watts said he had a look at #616. “I noticed some things on my way in that aren’t…standard,” said Watts.

He stated some of the signs in the area in questions are incorrect.

Councilor Vicky Pyle mentioned that the crosswalk across #616 by Millet school should have crossing lights, because the crosswalk is not marked as well as it should be.

Watts said pedestrian crosswalk markings are governed by the number of pedestrians that use them and the amount of traffic on the road. According to those requirements, the crossing Pyle mentioned appears to be marked properly, added Watts.

Pyle said that event though the crosswalk may be marked according to rules, large groups of kids crossing the street don’t always follow every rule they should.

Watts responded that he knows of kids that have been struck by traffic even in flashing light crosswalks. He also voiced concern about using lights in a crosswalk that doesn’t meet the requirements because it may cause oversaturation or desensitization: too many lights too often cause motorists to eventually block them out. He said the crosswalk is marked in order to tell pedestrians where the safest place to cross the road is and pedestrians should always be watching for motorists at all times.

In fact, Watts said #616 in Millet appears to have too many crosswalks as it is.

Additionally, Watts seemed skeptical about flashing lights in general. “They don’t work,” said Watts, who noted it’s better to have enforcement or other options to get speeds down in those areas.

He noted that Alberta Transportation may do a study with the town on the issue.

Potholes

Councilor Mike Storey asked Watts what could be done about potholes at the intersection of Hwy. #2A and Sec. Hwy. #616, in the middle of the intersection. Storey said it makes turning through the intersection even more difficult because people tend to focus on the potholes.

Both mayor Tony Wadsworth and Storey said it is the worst kept secret in the area that heavy commercial vehicles are cutting through Millet to avoid weigh scales on the major highways, such as Hwy. #2 south of Leduc.

New intersection

Discussion turned to the new development lands on the west side of Millet at Powerline Road and #616. Wadsworth noted the development is planned to have up to 1,200 homes, and thus eventually will need a fairly serious intersection.

Watts noted there will be a smaller intersection there to begin with and as the development grows, the intersection likely will too. He reminded councilors that the Municipal Government Act now gives councils the authority to collect an off-site levy to help pay for road projects.

Twinning

Wadsworth asked if the government has plans to twin #616 through Millet. Watts responded there is a “remote possibility” of that happening.

He said twinning depends on factors such as traffic volume.

The twinning of #2A was also mentioned, with councilors and Watts discussing the ongoing rumors of the road’s twinning.

Stu.salkeld@pipestoneflyer.ca