City councillors pushed for answers from staff Tuesday as they discussed a report detailing projected increases in traffic wait times to be caused by the Valley Line LRT.
The detailed report highlights current and future traffic delays in 45 key intersections along the Valley Line’s southeast corridor between downtown and Mill Woods.
At intersections such as Whyte Avenue and 83rd Street, eastbound commuters turning left during the morning rush will have to wait up to seven minutes to make the move by 2044.
Councillors grilled the administration during two separate sittings about the traffic delays.
Mayor Don Iveson asked for a recess between sessions so councillors could absorb the report.
Iveson reinforced that LRT will be the way for Edmontonians to beat gridlock around the city.
“You can make modifications and you can widen roads up to a point but you need something transformational, a strategic shift… that’s why we’re building the LRT,” Iveson told reporters.
“We’re introducing tradeoffs for sure, but it makes sure that hundreds of thousands of people … travel by train.”
One LRT train can replace 600 cars on the road, the report says.
Adam Laughlin, deputy city manager of integrated infrastructure services, said the report couldn’t be shared sooner because of confidentiality agreements with the project’s contractors. TransEd Partners is designing and building the first stage of the Valley Line and will maintain the line for 30 years.
‘All of this will have echo effects’
TransEd is required to provide council with a graded performance system ranking intersections along the Valley Line LRT corridor with a grade from A to F.
A grade of A represents a wait time of less than 10 seconds and the F grade is given to wait times exceeding 80 seconds at an intersection.
Several councillors pointed out that this…