Councillor Squire Ward Meetings, Neighbourhood Decision Making, and Wonderland Road

From Councillor Squire

I have now scheduled two fall community meetings. The dates and location are:

Thursday, October 19 from noon to 2 pm in the Food Court at Cherryhill Mall and

Monday, October 23 from 7 to 9 pm in the Vitali Lounge at King’s University College

These are important meetings as the staff who are dealing with these projects will be there. The new project leader for Bus Rapid Transit, Jennie Ramsay, will be there as well as Dr. Chris Mackie the City Medical Officer of Health to discuss Injection sites. There will also be time to discuss any other subjects. I hope you can make it.

Phil Squire, City Councillor Ward 6

Neighborhood Decision Making

This is your chance to get an idea in to the City for up to $50,000 to improve our neighbourhood. See

The due date for the submission of ideas is October 27th.

Wonderland Road EA (widening from Southdale to Sarnia Road)

There is an update on the City’s web site on this project. The update is reproduced below. You can follow the project by going to:

Sometime this fall, there will be a Public Information Centre meeting. Details to be announced.

Traffic Signal Timing and Synchronizing Traffic Lights

The project team wishes to thank everyone who has provided comments and/or attended a public pop-up event in July 2017. The Wonderland Road project team is continuing to collect existing conditions information on the project and complete analysis of current conditions.

A public comment that we’ve heard several times is the idea to synchronize the traffic lights along Wonderland Road to help keep traffic moving.

Traffic Lights: The Challenges
Improving a problem at one intersection could create a problem elsewhere. Think about it like a city-wide air mattress, pushing down the air in one spot doesn’t make it go away, it just puts more pressure on other areas.

“Picture the city as a simple grid; changes made at any one point or along any one line in that grid will create waves that ripple through all of the other points and lines.”

The Facts

As you can imagine, timing traffic signals along a busy, high volume roadway, such as Wonderland Road is very complex. The timing of traffic signals is all about balance; a typical urban intersection has to balance:

  • Different needs, behaviours, and abilities of all users – pedestrians, cyclists, transit vehicles, trucks and cars
  • Competing flows of vehicles moving through the intersection as well as turning
  • A minimum amount of time to allow pedestrians to safely cross the intersection (this time increases as the size of the intersection increases)
  • Nearby signals which are all dependent on each other, but also have competing needs
  • Changing priorities for movement – increasing the space and time dedicated to transit, bikes, and pedestrians as the city evolves
  • Allow time for the signal to change directions, where nobody moves

Balancing these factors for all of the intersections in a busy city is a complicated task, as improving something for one intersection could quite easily make things worse for another.

Signal Timing: The Challenges

Signal timing is particularly difficult where two major roads cross each other – both roads are important for movement across the grid, so what is the right balance?

“If the signals along Wonderland Road are lined up to work together well, what happens at Sarnia Road, Oxford Street, Southdale Road and Riverside Drive?”

Transportation engineers use a range of measures to evaluate the performance of the grid of signals throughout the city. They use these measures to help move as many people as safely and as efficiently as possible from where they are to where they need to go. The needs of Wonderland Road and other major people-moving corridors must be considered together within the constraints of this interconnected grid to make sure that the city as a whole can still operate and people can get to where they need to go.

The Facts

  • One full traffic signal cycle is the start of green to the end of red – Cycles are adjusted for intersections based on the time of day traffic volumes
  • Traffic signal synchronization is like a web: if you change the timing in one direction, it will affect all the intersections surrounding it, causing a ripple effect. Similar to the air-mattress example provided above
  • If signal times are increased in one direction, delays will increase in the opposite direction because vehicles will be sitting at lights longer and more back up will occur
  • Signal timings are balanced between both directions, with priority given to the direction with the highest volume
  • Major corridors are designed for flow along them as best as possible, with minor delays where they intersect other major corridors

In recent years, increasing congestion has caused a decline in the quality of mobility for all road users. To respond to this challenge, federal, provincial and municipal agencies in Canada have developed and have been implementing programs to directly address road safety.


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