Strathcona County has a number of pilot projects and ongoing initiatives to improve pedestrian and bicyclist safety in the community.

Person crossing the street at a crosswalk with a rapid rectangular flashing beacon

Flashing beacons

Rectangular Rapid Flash Beacons (RRFBs) are solar-powered pedestrian crossings LED lights that display intermittent rapid flashes when activated by a pedestrian.

From 2016 to 2024, rapid flashing beacon lights have been added to 34 high-profile pedestrian crossing locations throughout Sherwood Park, Ardrossan and Cambrian. 

Use of the flashing beacons has been shown to improve pedestrian safety and driver compliance at these locations.

Push button signs

Starting in 2023, the County has been placing temporary signs at crossing locations to encourage pedestrians to activate the rapid flashing beacon crossing lights. 

A recent study showed that activated crossing lights improved driver awareness and pedestrian safety.

The signs will be rotated to different locations every three to four weeks. County staff will conduct a follow-up study at crossing locations to see if the signage had an impact on push button use. 

Geometric improvements

Geometric improvements include curb extensions, median islands, speed humps and raised crosswalks. These changes increase safety by slowing traffic and improving the visibility of pedestrians and bicyclists. 

Often, the County installs temporary traffic safety measures at first. This allows the County to monitor effectiveness, and to plan for permanent changes to occur at the same time as neighbourhood rehabilitation.  

Pedestrian signals at signalized intersections

There are usually two types of crosswalks installed at a signalized intersection.

Automatic triggered crosswalks

Signal showing a "Don't Walk" hand and a countdown for pedestrians

The “Walk” and flashing “Don’t Walk” signals are turned on automatically every signal cycle. This type of crosswalk does not have designated pedestrian push buttons and signs.

Electronically triggered crosswalks

Pedestrian push button

The button must be pushed for the pedestrian signals to appear. The signals will not usually change immediately, but the controller will fit the pedestrian signals into its programmed operation for the particular time of day. The signal controller registers the first time the button is pushed and remembers it until the walk light comes on. Pushing multiple times will not make it change sooner.

Questions and concerns about pedestrian signal operations can be submitted through County Connect.

Pedestrian safety tips

Pedestrians have the right-of-way wherever a crosswalk is present. A crosswalk exists at every intersection (i.e. corner) whether marked or unmarked

Learn more about pedestrian safety on the Government of Alberta website.

Further information:

Transportation Engineering and Operations
Phone: 780-417-7100

Related pages

County Connect

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Last updated: Tuesday, May 07, 2024
Page ID: 50161