Regina is trying out new pedestrian crossing lights in a bid to make crossing the street safer in the Queen City.
Three new pedestrian-activated LED solar-powered flashing beacons will be installed at different intersections in the city to help warn drivers about a pedestrian’s presence.
The city can set the time for how long the lights will flash to ensure pedestrians have enough time to cross the road.
The lights will be placed at uncontrolled intersections where there aren’t already other warning signs.
“Our transportation master plan speaks to making it easier for people to get around whether they walk, they drive, they bike or they take the bus,” Mayor Michael Fougere said.
“The discussion is more about how we move pedestrians safely through intersections that are congested with people and traffic.”
The three new pedestrian lights will be located at:
- 13th Avenue and Scarth Street
- Victoria Avenue and McIntyre Street
- Saskatchewan Drive and Smith Street
The cost of the pilot project is around $50,000. Fougere said traditional signs, with installation, can cost between $60,000 and $150,000.
The new solar lights are less expensive because they don’t need to be powered, don’t require a large base and are easier to maintain.
Norman Kyle, director of roadways and transportation, said he wants to see how effective the lights are for pedestrian safety.
“Pedestrians at an uncontrolled intersection do have the right-of-way but we want them to cross safely and not just walk out on the road,” he said.
“We want vehicles to stop and this is intended to increase that compliance rate.”
He said at the Victoria Street and McIntyre Street intersection, only 30 per cent of drivers stop when there’s a pedestrian trying to cross the street.
Similar lights are already being used in Calgary and Halifax, while the Transportation Association of Canada is looking at establishing guidelines for the use of these signs.
The city will also be testing the effectiveness of the solar panels in the Saskatchewan climate, especially winter, for use in other areas.