Protected Only Left Turns

Protected only left turn signals to assign the right-of-way and are only allowed when a green left-hand turn arrow is displayed. Drivers in the opposite direction are stopped at a red light or have their own protected only left turn. While the City of St. Albert has used protected only left turns since 2002, the program was expanded in 2014. Protected only left turns continue to be part of the City’s traffic safety plan and were also included as one of the Safe Journeys to School recommendations. Currently, there are 11 of the 14 signalized intersections along St. Albert Trail operating with protected only left turns.

Statistics

In August 2015, the City released its one-year statistics on Protected Only Left Turns on St. Albert Trail (May 2014 to April 2015).

  • 0 fatalities
  • Injury collisions reduced by 85 per cent
  • Total left turn collisions on St. Albert Trail reduced by 55 per cent

Overall, between May 2014 and April 2015, 15 total collisions occurred during left-hand turns along St. Albert Trail. Further analysis found:

  • Two collisions occurred at mid-block/non-signalized locations
  • Eight collisions occurred at signalized intersections; however, involved directions of travel not using protected only left-turn operations (five of eight incidents occurred at Boudreau/Giroux Road in the east and westbound left turn movements)
  • Five collisions occurred at signalized intersections and involved vehicles under protected only left turn control. 

Click on May 2014 to April 2015 Statistics for data on the Three-year Collision Frequency and Severity on St. Albert Trail (Left Turn) as well as the specific intersection information.

This reduction in left-turn collisions occurred as overall traffic volume on the St. Albert Trail corridor increased.

Intersection Vehicle Volumes (Vehicles entering the intersection from all four directions):

St. Albert Trail at Hebert 2013 Total: 68,354 2014 Total: 72,242 (increase of 5%)
St. Albert Trail at McKenney 2013 Total: 60,791 2014 Total: 63,744
St. Albert Trail at Giroux 2013 Total: 48,618 2014 Total: 54,257 (increase of 12%)

Next Steps

Over the coming months, a thorough analysis will be completed on collision occurrences to better understand why they happened in order to further enhance roadway safety. These findings will better inform future decisions to improve traffic safety. 

Last edited: November 15, 2019