THIS WEEK’S activation of traffic control lights at the southern end of the Sande Overpass may have caught some motorists by surprise, but for pedestrians it was a welcome introduction.
Instead of flashing amber and red lights, normal signal lights now control traffic turning east from the southern end of the overpass to Keith Ave./Highway 16 and the traffic approaching the intersection on Keith Ave. from the west.
Cam Maximchuk, who frequently walks to his job at Fountain Tire, said that before, as a pedestrian, “you were dodging.”
“You were dodging, watching out because everybody’s backed up trying to get their shot,” he said of motorists wanting to clear the overpass.
“This is way better. It’s wider, better flow I’d say.”
Towards the end of last week, when the new lights became entirely operational, Facebook lit up with stories of drivers passing right through the lights.
One person claimed to have been clipped by someone who shot through a red light and another Facebooker, Tara Lynn, said that “this intersection will be the source of many accidents in the days/years to come. It’s just a fact. It’s a huge traffic change and most people cannot comprehend this. It’s sad but true. I only hope none will be fatal.”
Another person said that the new double east turn lanes would confuse those who are accustomed to a single lane as they arc through the intersection at the southern end.
The overpass redesign, its chief feature being the construction of a second lane for traffic turning left at the southern end, came in response to years of lobbying from local politicians and others to the provincial government to deal with what was regarded as a choke point for both highway and local traffic.