New automatic walk signals for improved pedestrian safety could be coming to Brampton


Published May 25, 2023 at 11:46 am

The City is looking to make road crossings in Brampton safer for pedestrians by replacing push-button walk signals with timed ones.

Most intersections in Brampton require pedestrians to push a button to trigger a walk signal, but the City is exploring moving to automatic timings for pedestrian crossings.

The push comes from Coun. Michael Pallesci, who says transitioning to automatic crossings will prioritize pedestrian safety at intersections, improve the flow of foot traffic and cut down on pedestrians crossing roadways when it is unsafe to do so.

The City currently determines traffic signal timings and pedestrian crossing times based on traffic volumes, the intersection design, and signal capacity analysis, as well as how many traffic signal phases are needed at each intersection.

A motion from Pallesci on Wednesday will see staff report back to council on the implementation and costs of transitioning all intersections in Brampton to automatically display a walk signal between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 11:59 p.m.

If the plan is approved, the changeover could start with a phased-in approach beginning with areas with a heavy volume of pedestrian traffic.

Peel Regional Police say there were some 376 pedestrian collisions in both Mississauga and Brampton last year, and 14 of those crashes were fatal.

One of those crashes also promoted council to look for ways to curb dangerous driving, including more traffic cameras added to city streets.

The City is also looking for new traffic signal software solutions that have “more automated features” and “will allow for more proactive monitoring of existing signal timings” to improve efficiency.

A report to council says the City’s current software used for the re-timing of traffic signals is “obsolete and is no longer vendor supported,” and the City’s timing of signals has “fallen behind” as changes must be made manually.

Palleschi said removing the requirement for pedestrians to push a button at crossings shows that City Council is putting a priority on pedestrian safety and traffic and aligns with the Region of Peel’s Vision Zero Road Safety targets.

Staff have been instructed to report back to City Council with the costs and possible timeline of the changeover at a later date.

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