COMMENT: Traffic lights at Huntmar & Maple Grove are major safety upgrade

Collision at Huntmar and Maple Grove on August 14 just before 9:00am.

(Above: Photo of a collision at Huntmar and Maple Grove on August 14 just before 9:00am.)

The traffic lights at Huntmar and Maple Grove were activated on Thursday morning. Less than 24 hours later, at the end of the morning commute, two cars collided at the intersection.

A number of readers have complained about the lack of turning lanes or advance green signals. Some drivers say the intersection is making their commute slower, especially if they’re driving from Maple Grove. (Although the drive home on Huntmar during the evening rush hour was quite a bit smoother Thursday and Friday.)

It’s way too early to call the lights a failure. The point of the lights isn’t about improving your commute time, it’s about safety, and the lights are a huge improvement for motorists and pedestrians.
I live close to the intersection and drive (or walk) through it many times each week. I’d often see motorists totally ignoring people trying to cross. There’s just too much volume at the intersection for a four-way stop to work.

The lights are going to take some getting used to. This morning’s accident was probably a case of a driver being on autopilot, and mistakenly treating the intersection as a four-way stop.

The lights are a temporary solution. The intersection will be reconfigured a few years from now when Huntmar Road is widened to four lanes, and proper sidewalks are added down the entire stretch.

It’s not a perfect solution, but it’s much better – and safer – than what we had before.


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3 thoughts on “COMMENT: Traffic lights at Huntmar & Maple Grove are major safety upgrade”

  1. That’s unfortunate. Also somewhat hilarious that there was a car crash so soon after… the drivers aren’t laughing.

    I dunno… I don’t drive, but I would suggest turning lanes be a necessity for a 4 way stop. As for advance turning lights? Careful driving might negate the need for that. Was the driver distracted? Were they being aggressive? Were they attempting insurance fraud?

    Every time the city does anything people find flaws in it. Obviously the city isn’t perfect but the dozens of comments complaining about a lack of turning lanes and lights on Counsellor Qadri’s post about the lights are just silly for something that isn’t essential to the operation of the intersection.

  2. I’m liking roundabouts more and more. I’d imagine that *IF* you get accidents there, it’d be mostly cosmetic damage and less often serious t-boning because of left turning. Left turning is the big culprit with intersections. If it wasn’t for left turning you’d probably have practically no accidents at all.

    There are only a few roundabouts here and there, as if they’re on trial. They’re not perfect mind you. The other day, an arrogant kid zoofed right through it failing to yield. I can see why they don’t install roundabouts all over the place, because if they don’t work, they’d have to change them all back to traffic lights.

    You see these roundabouts in more busier intersection throughout Quebec. They seem to work fine there. People are used to them. No one in their right mind darts right into the roundabout. People know they have to yield entering them. But here they’re kind of new, and that kid darting right into it, seemingly unaware that he had to yield, was disturbing. But then, traffic lights, especially in more open areas where people drive faster, are a risk too….

    End of day though, I think roundabouts would win for safety in the long run.

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