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Traffic improvements in store for Saskatoon

SASKATOON, Sask. -- The federal government has chipped in $250,000 towards helping Saskatoon update its antiquated...

SASKATOON, Sask. — The federal government has chipped in $250,000 towards helping Saskatoon update its antiquated traffic control system.

The money will be added to $580,000 the city has already set aside for the project, which should make travelling through Saskatoon much more efficient.

City municipal engineering manager, Murray Totland, says the operations behind the light structures will be enhanced, to make the entire system more in synch with itself. It should minimize the need to stop and go continuously while driving through the city.

"We can implement additional timing plans and try to optimize those such that hopefully the user on the street will see a difference," Totland tells local media. "The whole idea of the signal system is really to minimize the delay in the overall system. You do that by reducing stops and starts. Really, we are trying to develop a more efficient system."

The new system will also have the ability to monitor asphalt temperature, which should lead to safer city roads.

"When conditions get to the point when it is conducive to icing on the structure, the system can sense that and send a message to our maintenance people who would send a sander out," says Totland. Although red light cameras aren’t currently used in Saskatoon, the new system will make it easy to add them to the structures, should the city decide to implement red light cameras in the future.

The system is expected to be completed sometime in 2003.

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