Here's an email reply that Peterborough resident Susan Nelson has shared when she asked that perhaps installing advance green lights along Monaghan might be a good starting point for helping with north/south traffic flow efficiency.
Dear Ms. Nelson,
Thank you for taking the time to submit your comments on the Parkway Corridor Environmental Assessment Study.
We acknowledge your comments and agree that Monaghan Rd is not well suited and does not provide sufficient capacity to accommodate the long term growth in traffic in the City of Peterborough. Given the lack of separate left turn lanes at most of the intersections along Monaghan Road, it is virtually impossible to provide efficient traffic signal control with advance greens to provide protected left turns at intersections. This type of signal operation works best when there are separate left turn lanes at intersections and detectors can be imbedded in the pavement in the left turn lane, to indicate when vehicles are waiting for an advance green phase. The traffic signal controller can then provide an advance green move in one direction or both directions if there is demand to warrant the advance green phase.
Without a separate left turn lane, there is no way to know if a vehicle stopped at the intersection is intending to proceed through the intersection or is planning to turn left. Without separate turn lanes, the only way to provide the advance green is to provide it for every cycle of the traffic signal irrespective of any vehicles actually wanting to turn left. To provide advance greens in both directions at the same time, would require a separate signal phase to only allow left turning vehicles to proceed first, followed by the through vehicles later. Again this would occur regardless of the presence of a left turn vehicle at the stop line, and even if the left turning vehicle was second or third in the line, they would be blocked and not be able to use the advance green.
Unfortunately, Monaghan Road is quite narrow, as I am sure you are aware, and the widening of this road to provide separate left turn lanes, even at the major intersections, would result in significant impacts to adjacent properties; would eliminate the sidewalks and boulevards; and would remove many of the mature trees along this corridor. Even if the City did undertake this improvement to Monaghan Road, this would not address the remaining problem areas that have been identified early on in our study. The recent construction of Medical Drive, provided some relief in the volume of through traffic using Monaghan Road, and the potential extension of Medical Drive to better connect to the major road network in the south end of the City would further reduce the traffic demand on the Monaghan Road corridor, and would also relieve congestion on Clonsilla Ave.
Forecasts of future planned growth in the north end of the City combined with growth in employment in the south-west end of the city will lead to increased travel demands on the arterial road network in the north end of the City as well. This will be particularly noticeable on the Parkhill Road corridor, with the increase in traffic trying to get to Chemong Road and Fairbairn Street, for example. This growth will increase the current left turn demands at the Parkhill Road intersections with Medical Drive, Monaghan Road, and Fairbairn Street and further increase congestion levels beyond those experienced today. Increased congestion and delays have been linked to increased collision risk as well, as frustrated drivers take chances in finding a gap in traffic.
For that reason, this study is examining a number of alternatives to address longer term growth in travel demand in the City, that builds upon the recommendations of the recently completed Transportation Master Plan(2012). For the Parkhill Road area, two basic alternatives are being studied to provide capacity to accommodate future north south travel demands. One alternative includes an extension of Medical Drive north with a new bridge across the Jackson Creek Valley (as noted in your email) to connect to Fairbairn Street and a new two lane roadway in the Parkway Corridor north to Cumberland Avenue. The second alternative includes the widening of Parkhill Road to provide separate left turn lanes at Monaghan Road and Fairbairn Street (or a traffic circle), plus a widening of Fairbairn Street to 4 lanes to connect to the Parkway Corridor in the vicinity of Highland Road.
There are advantages and disadvantages with each alternative. For example, a new bridge across the valley would be expensive, would impact vegetation and habitats in the valley, and may reduce the enjoyment of the trails and park areas to the south of the crossing location, just to name a few. The widening of Fairbairn Street would either require the removal of up to 25 homes along the east side of Fairbairn Street, or widening on the west side of the road; with extensive fill, retaining walls, and loss of trees and vegetation within the valley. Conceptual designs for each of these alternatives were provided at the Public Information Centre held on March 21, 2013. These alternatives were presented to the public for comment prior to the project team completing our evaluation. No decisions have been made on these alternatives as this point in time. Based on input received and a technical assessment of the alternatives, the project team will present a recommendation to the community at our next public meeting, tentatively planned for June 2013.
If you haven’t had the opportunity, I would encourage you to review the material from the first two Public Information Centers for this project on the City of Peterborough website at the following link.
If you have any trouble downloading the material please let me know and we will arrange to have a copy sent to you. Please note some of the files are quite large.
The City as recently agreed to extend the comment period for PIC 2 until April 19, 2013 to allow additional time for members of the public to familiarize themselves with the study, the information that has been presented so far, and the full range of alternatives under consideration.
Comments received after the April 19th deadline will also be reviewed and included as part of the study process and documentation.
We have added you to our study email list and will notify you in advance of the next public meeting.
We look forward to receipt of any additional comments you may have on the study.
D 905-668-4021 ext 2515
Stay up-to-date by following the Friends of Jackson Park Facebook Group and Friends of Peterborough Trails website. Remember that all feedback for the Parkway Extension and protection of Jackson Park must be in by this Friday (April 19th) at AECOM. Email your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org and be sure to include your full name and address to validate your input.
[Contributed by PtboCanada's Evan Holt]