On April 4, 2023, I co-hosted an information session about the Innes/Viseneau intersection with Councillor Catherine Kitts at the Orléans Library. Many residents were in attendance, but for those who may not have been able to be there, I have shared the Q&A from the session below.
Thank you to the City’s Traffic Engineers for providing detailed responses to the questions at the meeting.
Viseneau and Innes Community Information Session – Questions to Staff
How do leading pedestrian intervals work?
- When there is an advanced walk, pedestrians get an advance interval where vehicles are prohibited from making a left turn during the initial portion of the crossing indicator signal time.
- This period is only an advance, it is not an entire dedicated cycle for pedestrians.
- This advanced walk time is currently in place for the north-south crossings.
- In December 2022, in response to concerns raised from the community, staff conducted an evening study, done during and after sunset, to assess whether there were vehicle/pedestrian turning movement conflicts that would merit the addition of right-turn on red prohibition, for the northbound & southbound directions. The findings did not show any pedestrian/vehicle conflicts during the course of the study.
Why is there an advance left-turn signal for traffic heading south into the shopping centre side?
- It was a condition that was included when the development of the shopping area was approved.
Why can the intersection not be made to have matching left-turn signals on the opposite side of the intersection?
- Signals on opposing sides of an intersection are not set to match by default. They are set based on the traffic patterns of the vehicles utilizing each respective signal.
- In this case, those approaches that do NOT have the advance signal, did NOT meet the necessary warrants.
- There have been recurring delay based operational studies that have demonstrated that the eastbound left turning movement continues to operate with a high level of service (LOS A), and remains a very low turning volume movement that would not benefit from the addition of an advanced left turn arrow.
Could providing an advance turn signal for east- and westbound traffic improve safety?
- Adding an advanced turn signal does not, by default, equal improved safety for an intersection.
- Rather, they are used to address queuing concerns of vehicles unable to complete the turn in a cycle.
- A conversion to Fully protected left turns has been reviewed at the intersection. Associated collision statistics do not support the conversion to this operation as the number of eastbound & westbound turning movement collisions remains low at this location, and is below the City wide average.
Can the southbound lanes be modified to include a dedicated turning lane?
- The existing roadway is not wide enough to accommodate the addition of a third lane of traffic.
- It is important to note that this is also a bus route, which requires a wider turning radius than passenger vehicles, to accommodate the vehicle length.
Is near-miss data captured?
The City relies on verified collision data as the key metric in evaluating incidents. While there is potential in the future for “near miss” data to be developed as technology evolves, further review has not been pursued.
Is there a vehicle activated left-turn signal for westbound traffic?
- Yes, however, it hasn’t been functioning properly. Vehicle detectors in the City of Ottawa are made of metal detecting wire imbedded in the pavement. Repairs have been hindered by Covid 19 supply chain The work is actively included in our 2023 maintenance
Is there currently a higher volume of eastbound traffic turning left onto Viseneau than in past years, potentially contributing to motorist frustration when attempting to make the left turn?
- Staff have compared 2017 and 2023 volumes, and there was no appreciable difference. Vehicles are not prohibited from making a left-turn during a standard green light, or during the amber indication as long as it is safe to do so as outlined in the Ontario Highway Traffic Act.
- Staff caution that motorists can become more frustrated when encountering unwarranted changes to intersections, which creates potentially more safety issues.
Can the City rebuild the intersection to accommodate changes that are physically limited today?
- Any major physical changes to the intersection (such as widening) would need to meet the necessary transportation warrants and require dedicated funding.
- In general, any major changes proposed to the intersection would also require a fulsome community-wide consultation.