September 20th, 2019

Flashing beacons on 6 Avenue South to help pedestrians cross


By Kalinowski, Tim on August 24, 2019.

Traffic travels along Sixth Avenue South through the lights at 12 Street, as the city plans to make pedestrian crossing upgrades at a number of streets along the east west corridor. Herald photo by Ian Martens @IMartensHerald

Tim Kalinowski

Lethbridge Herald

tkalinowski@lethbridgeherald.com

Sixth Avenue South is set to become a little more pedestrian friendly after new rectangular rapid-flashing beacons (rrfb) are installed at 12, 14 and 15 Street intersections through September and October.

City of Lethbridge manager of Transportation Darwin Juell said the changes are pre-planned, and come out of recommendations included in a functional planning study on 6 Avenue filed in 2016 to seek ways to make the major roadway safer for traffic and pedestrians.

“Sixth Avenue is one of our highest speed corridors,” confirmed Juell. “It ranges from about 18,000 vehicles a day to 10,000 vehicles a day on the east end by Mayor Magrath Drive. It is a very residential street which has tons of schools on there. We have designed the entire corridor to be consistant with four-way traffic signals for vehicles, and all the pedestrian crossings are receiving rrfb flashers.”

Similar to what is already in place on 3 Avenue and 12B Street South, the rrfbs represent an upgrade in technology, increased visibility of pedestrian crossings for vehicle traffic, and safer crossings for those on foot, said Juell. The work along 6 Avenue South will also include new bulb-outs where the rrfb lights are going to be installed, he confirmed. Bulb-outs curb extensions which jut out to block off right turns from the parking lane. They also raise pedestrians up so they can be more easily seen by drivers.

Juell said he does not anticipate the installation of the rrfbs and bulb-outs along 6 Avenue will create any major impediments to traffic.

“There will be some minor traffic detours or minor lane closures, but the contractors aren’t planning to close the road at all other than in the place where they are working,” he said.

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