Published on June 1, 2022

City of St. Albert Receives Minister’s Award for Transportation Innovation

The City of St. Albert has received the 2022 Minister’s Award for Transportation Innovation in Operational Innovation. The award was presented on May 2, 2022 at the Consulting for Engineers of Alberta’s Annual Transportation Connects Alberta Conference in Red Deer, Alberta.

The annual Minister’s Awards for Transportation Innovation recognize individuals and organizations demonstrating innovation in the following six categories: design, construction, environmental, safety, operational, transit/accessible. These awards celebrate transportation innovations, large or small, that pave the way toward a better, more efficient, sustainable and safer transportation system in Alberta.  

Operational Innovation 

The award is in recognition of the City’s work in advancing adaptive signal operations through the Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Strategy. The adaptive signal operations use real-time information to allow the signals to respond intelligently and continuously as traffic flow changes and fluctuates throughout the day. It has recently been implemented along the St. Albert Trail/Highway 2 corridor as well as to Boudreau Road.

“St. Albert is one of the first Canadian municipalities to have integrated the adaptive controls and applied it to a substantial commuter corridor such as St Albert Trail. The technology itself is showing efficiency improvements for mobility through the corridor and efficiencies in resource management for the city with tangible and recordable benefits,” says Dean Schick, Manager of Transportation.

The adaptive technology works with the City’s central monitoring system and has been applied to the existing network to allow improvements to signal timings based more on-demand versus pre-set time of day plans. Operations of individual intersections and full corridors will continue to be monitored, the system evaluated and network needs for response or actions addressed.

Receiving this award reinforces the importance of work being done in the ITS Strategic Plan. “It is an honour to receive formal recognition of the City's application of technology to improve mobility within and through the city. The economical application used existing infrastructure with new technology, despite having limited resources. The acknowledgement helps identify St. Albert’s priority for continuous improvement in effective and efficient traffic management with sustainable and repeatable ITS integration,” adds Schick. 

What is the ITS Strategic Plan? 

The ITS Strategic Plan targets the use of technology and innovation to improve road network safety, mobility and efficiency. It provides a strategic approach to how the City may integrate ITS applications into the transportation network. 

Key goals of the ITS Strategy are to:

  • Improve efficiencies of the transportation network 
  • Increase safety 
  • Support livability and sustainability 
  • Enhance economic prosperity and goods movement 
  • Support regional transportation 
  • Develop active and transit transportation network 
  • Encourage innovation and technological excellence 
  • Support and enhance data management 

The vision for the Intelligent Transportation Systems Strategy is to build a better community through transportation innovation by bringing technology and innovation together and applying them to transportation challenges to protect the City’s quality of life. 

Moving Forward 

When asked what the future steps of the ITS Strategy look like, Schick mentioned that “the City will continue to apply the technology to monitor and evaluate movement along corridors, and effectively apply the technology where appropriate and beneficial to improve network efficiency. A variety of technologies and actions are captured within the ITS Strategy, and next steps will apply stronger information sharing to road users and residents to inform on roadway conditions, travel times and operational considerations that will help on road user decision making or mobility expectations.” 

The City recently installed a new permanent dynamic driver information sign to share messaging targeting traffic impacts, safety messaging, emergency notifications and other essential communications. Motorists driving northbound into St. Albert on Ray Gibbon Drive will be able to view the sign during their commute.

dynamic sign on Ray Gibbon Drive

Learn More about the ITS Strategy: 

ITS Strategic Plan

ITS Implementation Strategy (2019 to 2024)

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Last edited: June 1, 2022