Weyburn city council heard a presentation at their recent meeting on an extensive traffic study done of the city by Stantec Engineering, explaining not only current changes being made in the city, but short, medium and long-term changes that will need to be made as the city grows.
Perhaps later is better than never, but even Mayor Debra Button pointed out that this should’ve done prior to the painting of arrows and lanes around the city that has since caused some confusion and consternation, then perhaps the public could’ve been better prepared for the changes once they were made.
However, as the plans lay out the expected future traffic patterns in the city according to projections of how the city is growing and will continue to grow, it was beneficial for city officials to hear the views of an experienced engineering firm about how the city should handle the growth.
For example, an explanation was given as the rationale for the future wish to install traffic lights at the intersection of Railway Avenue and Government Road, close by to a major rail crossing and the lights at Government Road and Highway 39.
The city was told it would be of great benefit to have the lights include a sensor that would pre-empt the timing of light changes when there is a train going through the city, even warning motorists of a coming train.
In addition, the city was told they will ultimately have to replace all of their traffic lights, because the ones currently in use are 20-30 years old with stand-alone circuitry that can’t be tied in to other lights or to sensors that warn of pending traffic changes such as due to a lengthy train. Also, the lenses used for the lights are eight-inch, while most urban centres use 12-inch lenses with LED lights that are more visible to the motoring public, and therefore should help increase safety.
In the end, the bottom line for all of the planned changes is to optimize the flow of traffic in the city, and increase traffic safety for our growing population.
Some of the changes, like the arrows and lanes, admittedly do take some time to get used to, but once they’re incorporated into the city’s overall traffic system and it evolves further, the result should be a system that is safer and more efficient, and assist the city to continue growing and expanding as the economy allows it to do so.