Pedestrian safety continues to be a concern along Woodland Drive, especially at the Maple Bay intersection near Cranna Lake.
The City of Lacombe will be adding pedestrian crossing markings and lighting to the intersection over the coming weeks.
Councillors approved the installation of a new style of a pedestrian warning system to the intersection at their regular council meeting on Monday evening.
Overhead pedestrian activated lights have been used in the City before, but this new type of warning system, called a rectangular rapid flashing beacon (RRFB) will be a new type of infrastructure. An RRFB is a pole mounted LED that flashes in a strobing pattern when activated by a pedestrian. Two of these units will be installed at the intersection.
Director of Operations and Planning Matthew Goudy stated the City of Calgary piloted the use of RRFBs beginning in 2012.
“They completed a fairly extensive study over 2014,” he said. “The idea is that it is at eye level, instead of overhead. The findings are essentially that it has better yield properties than the overhead infrastructure and it is certainly much less costly.”
Council had previously approved to install a pedestrian light at the intersection at a council meeting last June. The City had originally budgeted $118,500 in the 2016 Capital Budget towards the project.
Goudy stated the RRFB would cost approximately 60% of the original estimated cost, an estimated $70,000. The system will run off City power with the option to add solar power at a later date.
Councillor Reuben Konnik said it was terrific that the City could save some money while implementing new technology.
“I think it’s a great idea,” he added.
“I’ve encountered these and quite intuitively I knew what they meant,” said Councillor Wayne Armishaw after a question about whether drivers would recognize the warning system.