For Immediate Release | September 11, 2018
Technology to Improve Safety, Efficiency and Mobility on Road Networks
City releases Intelligent Transportation Systems Strategic Plan & Implementation Strategy
The City presented its first Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Strategic Plan & Implementation Strategy, a key Council and Administrative priority, at the September 10 Governance, Priorities and Finance Committee Meeting.
The ITS Strategic Plan targets the use of technology and innovation to improve road network safety, mobility and efficiency. It provides a strategic approach on how the City may integrate ITS applications into the transportation network. The ITS Implementation Strategy (2019 to 2024) outlines outcomes that will ease congestion through improved traffic management, provide real-time information to users, minimize environmental impacts and increase the efficient and effective movement of people and goods in St. Albert.
Documents have been developed based on City policies and plans, industry best practices, road network needs and priorities, and a road network operational evaluation.
Implementation of the ITS Strategy has been underway since June 2018. The City has already installed technology along St. Albert Trail to help improve traffic flow and monitor and report on corridor and intersection operations to ensure effectiveness.
A focus of the 2018 implementation work is on St. Albert Trail, with the technology installed setting the foundation for a shift in traffic signal operations towards an adaptive style of signal control. The adaptive signal operations will use real-time information to allow the signals to respond intelligently and continuously as traffic flow changes and fluctuates throughout the day. This is a substantial change from current operations, which use “time of day” plans that are based on anticipated conditions rather than real-time conditions.
Other specific applications and actions that have been completed are:
- Installation of Bluetooth Travel Time devices: These units have been installed at four locations along St. Albert Trail and use Bluetooth technology to capture travel time from one point to another. Information will be used to measure operations of the road network and may also be shared with road users to assist in pre-trip planning.
- Advance vehicle detection: This technology detects vehicles prior to their arrival at intersections and allows for the intersections to identify and manage oncoming demand. This equipment supports the transition to adaptive signal control.
- Signal controller upgrades: The signal controller is the “brain” behind the traffic signal operations. It receives information from the field and runs the operations. This technology supports the transition to adaptive signal control.
- Application of Signal Performance Measures: The City has expanded its central monitoring system using fiber communications to connect to intersections, which allows for remote monitoring, system checks and alarms, and live detection feeds. New performance measures and reporting capability will be used for system checks and annual reports. This performance software will support the adaptive signal control and St. Albert is the first municipality in Canada to use it.
The City will be monitoring and evaluating the performance of the technology on St. Albert Trail for a minimum of one year to ensure its effectiveness before considering the addition of other locations.
Over the coming months, the City will:
- Finalize the 2018 Implementation work and perform network and technology evaluations;
- Continue to collaborate with partners such as Alberta Transportation and the University of Alberta; and,
- Investigate opportunities for grant funding for ITS applications.
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