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Sam Macdonald photo
Sam Macdonald photo
The new turning light on main street, at the interesction between 50 Ave. and 48 St. was brought up in town council, and is the topic of a lot of discussion around town, as motorists get used to it.
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Turning light causes confusion and concern

Dec 17, 2013 10:48 am | Journal Staff

Residents in the area appear to be unhappy with the new left turning signal light that has been installed at the intersection of 50 Ave and 48 St.

Mayor Glenn Andersen reported at last week’s regular town council meeting on Dec. 9 that there have been a lot of complaints about the new turning light. He said the difficulty with the arrow is that it’s new and people aren’t accustomed to it. The light also results in people who want to turn left having to share a lane with people who want to drive straight through the intersection.

The new turning light was installed to accommodate bus routes, at the request of the school board allowing buses more opportunity to turn left.

“It’ll be a learning curve for citizens, people will have to adapt to it. That’s as good as you can get for now,” said Andersen.

In the interest of increasing the efficiency of the turn signal, there have been a number of recommendations coming in from various residents on how to improve the intersection further.

Council is working with Alberta Transportation to make the intersection as efficient as possible. Council plans to review how things are progressing with the intersection in January.

On Friday, a number of residents responded to a posting on the St. Paul Journal’s Facebook page regarding the new turning light. Concerns regarding lights being needed instead on the west end of town at the Extra Foods intersection, and on the east end at the Century 21 building or the Co-op intersection, were raised a number of times.

“It was a great thought to have the light, but it just does not work well with the way the intersection is set up,” said local resident Jason Anderson.

Some residents recommended changing the turning light to the end of the cycle, rather than the beginning, while many pointed out that it causes confusion among drivers because there isn’t an actual turning lane.

“My biggest complaint is the sheer number of people who don't seem to understand that you can't go straight through the intersection on the turn arrow. I've seen this happen almost every day,” said another resident, Meagan MacDonald.

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