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Traffic innovations at Roads

Whether it’s through real-time traffic updates or solar-powered pedestrian crosswalks, the Roads business unit is constantly looking at better and more efficient ways of operating.

Traffic operations | Parking | Streetlighting

Traffic operations

Advanced Traveller Information System (ATIS)

The ATIS site includes a number of exciting features such as an interactive map with real-time information on road closures, traffic incidents, Snow Routes, traffic cameras, transit routes and parking. It also a​llows users to look up their address and find transportation services in their area, as well as a trip planner that can help navigate around detours and traffic incidents.

The next three phases of the project will include added features such as:

  • Enabling GPS data to showing snow plow and sander locations in real time on the map.
  • Providing real-time traffic congestion information via Bluetooth.
  • Email/SMS subscriptions.

Rectangular Rapid Flash Beacons

Rectangular Rapid Flash Beacons (RRFB) are solar powered pedestrian crossings. The beacons have LED lights and display intermittent rapid flashes when activated by a pedestrian. These devices are significantly less costly to install and operate compared to the other overhead flashing beacons currently in use at pedestrian crossings.

For more information, visit the Rectangular Rapid Flash Beacons webpage.

Real-Time Travel Congestion and Travel Time Information System

The City of Calgary has activated a Bluetooth detection technology along Deerfoot Trail to give Calgarians real-time information about the travel time along Deerfoot Trail during their commute.

This innovative technology collects publicly available information from Bluetooth devices and estimates travel times and congestion. These times are then displayed on electronic signs at key locations along the freeway.

The benefits of this technology to Calgarians are:

  • Improved ability for drivers to make informed route planning choices.
  • Decreased driver frustration.
  • Collection of transportation data for planning purposes.
  • Reduction of drivers using handheld devices to predict traffic during their commute.

Traffic calming curbs

Traffic calming curbs will be piloted on roads with a 50 km/h speed limit, where issues have been identified and traffic calming is required but cannot be immediately installed due to budget or other construction constraints. Read The City blog for more details.

Overhead traffic alert signs

Advanced Travel Emergency Management Systems (ATEMS) are installed throughout downtown on overhead traffic alert signs​. These digital message signs (DMS) on +15 overpasses and free standing poles provide traffic incident information, including major collisions and planned or emergency road or lane closures, to better inform motorist’s downtown of incidents that could impact their commute. ​​

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Taxi hydrant zones

In 2012, The City began allowing taxis to use the street space at a fire hydrant to wait or stand for a fare. This move, supported by the Calgary Fire Department, provided many benefits for the Taxi Industry, motorists and the general public including:

Taxi Hydrant Zone Sign
  • Greater access to taxis for the public.
  • Improved emergency access.
  • Efficient use of street space.
  • Increase of public parking space.
  • Reduced driving for taxi drivers to seek customers.

There are currently eight zones throughout the Beltline, Uptown 17 Avenue, and Mission business areas. They are in operation Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. This program aims to discourage drinking and driving by making taxis more accessible, increasing safety while loading/unloading takes place and to get patrons on their way home as quickly as possible.

Chinatown angle parking

With parking at a premium in downtown, it’s important to ensure parking lots and spaces are being used to its full potential. Roads re-vamped a parking area in Chinatown to include angled parking, creating 10 additional parking spaces on the east side of 1 Street S.E. between Riverfront Avenue and 4 Avenue S.E. The new angled parking was a simple, yet effective way of optimizing available space, and has been well-received by Calgarians.

Microstall parking zones

The City of Calgary will be creating approximately 150 new car2go microstall parking spaces in areas where normal sized cars will not fit in an effort to create new and innovative solutions to parking demand in downtown Calgary. The shared vehicles are small and eco-friendly, and reduce the number of individual, full-sized vehicles in the core.

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Energy Efficient LED Lighting

Council has approved a city-wide retrofit of 80,000 streetlights between 2015-2018. For more information, visit the LED Lighting Project webpage.

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