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Charlottetown pilot project to focus on easing traffic congestion on North River Road

Coun. Mike Duffy, right, chairman of the public works committee, said the City of Charlottetown will launch a three-month pilot project in the spring on addressing traffic congestion along North River Road. He’s pictured here with Coun. Kevin Ramsay during council’s regular public monthly meeting on Monday.
Coun. Mike Duffy, right, chairman of the public works committee, said the City of Charlottetown will launch a three-month pilot project in the spring on addressing traffic congestion along North River Road. He’s pictured here with Coun. Kevin Ramsay during council’s regular public monthly meeting on Monday. - Dave Stewart
CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. —

Mike Duffy said it’s time to address traffic congestion in Charlottetown.

The public works committee chairman said the city will begin by zeroing in on one of the most congested streets in the capital — North River Road.

Duffy said the city will be participating in a three-month pilot project this spring that will aim to improve traffic flow at four intersections.

The city is partnering with Milovision on the pilot project. The four intersections it will initially focus on are all along the North River Road corridor — including where North River Road intersects with Belvedere Avenue, Beach Grove Road, Buchanan Drive and Capital Drive.

“It entails cameras being put on various traffic lights around North River Road,’’ Duffy said following council’s regular public meeting on Monday night. “The purpose for that, those cameras will collect data and information on the traffic flows, the time of day, the speed, which direction (traffic) is going in . . . (really) anything relating to traffic.’’

The traffic cameras and software used by Milovision will conduct traffic counts, analyze the data and adjust traffic signals to improve traffic flow.

Duffy said that starting with North River Road made perfect sense for the pilot project considering motorists experience congestion along that corridor on a daily basis.

“It’s one that pops right out,’’ Duffy said in regard to launching the pilot project on that stretch of road. “Coming into town, especially in the summer time, you come through what we regard as the Queens Arms intersection you will see at 10 after 4 . . . when government is out traffic will be backed up on North River Road to Simmons rink or Queen Charlotte school,’’ he said. “It’s a prime spot to try to do some problem solving.’’

Milovision specializes in traffic planning and operations and has been doing the work since 2005. The company has offices in Kitchener, Ont., and Cologne, Germany, and serves more than 17,000 municipalities worldwide.

The pilot project won’t cost the city a dime.

Once it is finished and the data is analyzed by city council, if council is happy with how things went the recommendation will be to proceed and work on the other 33 signalized intersections in Charlottetown over a three-year period.

That would cost the city about $900,000 ($25,000 per intersection) but would be contingent on securing funding support and providing a full cost-benefit analysis so that city officials could analyze the return on investment.

“It has worked in other places and has drastically reduced the problem that people run into at peak times, coming into work or going home,’’ Duffy said.

By installing a Milovision system at all traffic signals in Charlottetown, the city said it would reduce costs associated with traffic counts and outsourcing manual traffic signal program adjustments. Traffic data would be available in real time, allowing staff to respond quickly to traffic signal-related issues.

Twitter.com/DveStewart


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