RESPONSE: City staff are reviewing Huntmar/Maple Grove intersection

Intersection of Huntmar and Maple Grove. Heading northbound, one lane combines straight-through and left turns. The other is for right turns only.

(City councillor Shad Qadri responded to a resident’s letter about traffic at Huntmar & Maple Grove.)

I have had City Traffic staff review the intersection of Maple Grove and Huntmar Road.  Northbound vehicle movements were analyzed from turning volume counts completed in June and October 2014.  The counts showed that 10 percent of vehicles made a left turn, 60 percent of vehicles proceeded straight through and 30 percent of vehicles made a right turn. The northbound lanes for the temporary signal were designed as a share left/through and an exclusive right turn lane base on the results from the counts.

Working within the existing curb lines for the temporary signal, the alignment works better for northbound vehicles travelling through the intersection from the shared left/through lane.  Traffic staff have the same lane configurations at other intersections within the City of Ottawa.

The existing northbound lanes also helps to remove cyclists from the heavy right turning vehicles (cycling lane painted to the left of the right turn lane).

Specific turn and straight through arrows have now been painted on the roadway to help assist motorists traversing the intersection.  This should assist drivers.

I have also requested Traffic staff to continue to monitor this intersection for the next week to confirm if the intersection is working to its upmost efficiency. 


Shad Qadri



9 thoughts on “RESPONSE: City staff are reviewing Huntmar/Maple Grove intersection”

  1. Good to see that there’s some numbers involved in attempting to solve the northbound traffic issues, that said sometimes the numbers hide the details.

    We have 70% of traffic using one lane, where 60% of that traffic is attempting to go forward, and 10% of that 70% is attempting to turn left. No where are we given the southbound traffic turning right or going straight which impacts the 70% northbound traffic. The 10% attempting to turn left is being potentially blocked by the southbound traffic until a safe break in traffic occurs which isn’t very often during peak traffic hours. This one vehicle now has blocked the 60% attempting to go straight, and it’s possible to have more left turning vehicles in the lineup waiting to hold up the line up again, repeating the madness.

    The 10% is kind of like a kink in the hose limiting the flow. No one likes a kink 😉

    As part of the research being done, it would be nice to have the duration that vehicles are waiting. The number of light cycles a vehicle has to wait for to clear the intersection. The number of vehicles through the intersection at low and peak times. A little more data would be good, more than the percentage of vehicle direction flow. I’m sure the city has that data, but the report we’ve been given above seems a little thin.

  2. Am I missing something here? Do they not have to consider what is coming from the north which would interfere with the left hand turns, as opposed to the right hand turn which wouldn’t have as much traffic coming towards it? And where is that cyclist supposed to be going?

  3. He, he, he. This dilemma/solution makes me giggle.
    Didn’t the four way stop seem to allow greater flow before the lines and lights?

    This situation must have a better solution.
    An advanced green? (Requires frequent light changes.)
    A sensor to detect a car in the left turn lane? (Maybe not.)
    No left turns at peak traffic? (Don’t hate me for that one.)
    Roundabout? (Not sure when this one is best used.)
    I agree with Faith, and I feel a right turn and straightaway should allow more flow while it allows the left turn cars to sit without disturbing flow.
    Would it help if we had a time lapse video?
    I feel like parking a car full of engineers /parking lot jockeys nearby, to sort this out.

  4. So the lane logic is based upon data from almost a year ago. Hmm so since then there has been significant growth of retail and housing to the north. So in the article is the June listed mean June 2015 or June 2014 – it’s confusing since October has the year 2014 mentioned. If the data is from June 2014, then why wasn’t a new survey done in June of this year?

    Besides this question only answers 1 of the 4 flows. South bound traffic is high in the morning and most definitely in the evening and suffers delays due to left turns also. And East in the morning and West at night has high left turns. So why not adjust the lights at certain points to give some directions an extended green?

    The issue remains that there is a lot of traffic that has been forced down a restricted route which needs more lanes but the city planning lags again and the reactive lane widening is years away.

  5. My reply to Mr. Qadri’s reply above.

    Dear Mr. Qadri,

    Thank you for taking the time to respond.

    I fully appreciate that city planners analyzed the traffic patterns before making such a decision. I must point out a few things however:

    – Those 10 percent of people turning left were not holding anyone up when the analysis was done in 2014, because there was a 4-way stop there, and each car got went in turn.
    – Those 10 percent of people turning left now hold up the other 60 percent that are waiting behind them to go straight. This is a major problem.
    – The 30 percent turning right are free to turn, as they have the right of way – thus not holding anyone up. If a lane must be shared, this is the one that makes more sense.
    – You mention “working within the existing curb lines”. The curb was moved slightly to better accommodate the 30% turning right – in effect, Maple Grove was widened slightly. This proves it is possible to make adjustments to the street width, and both could have been widened more at the time the lights were installed.
    – Putting a cycling lane between two driving lanes is extremely unsafe, especially when that straight-through lane does not align with the lane on the far side of the intersection. I sincerely hope that we don’t have to see the proof of that mistake.

    I’m sorry, but this was badly designed. Please read the comments on StittsvilleCentral’s website and Facebook pages – people are in agreement that this is not good. Please consider pressuring the city planners to make this right. It’s OK to admit they got it wrong.

    This intersection is now causing increased frustration for northbound travellers, and is definitely not safe for cyclists. I will not be driving my bicycle between those two car lanes. So far, I have not yet seen a single car going straight that stayed entirely in that left lane. Every northbound car I have seen has their wheels in that bike lane. I’d be happy to go stand there and video this – but all you have to do is go northbound and watch for yourself when there’s heavy traffic.

    Instead of traffic staff monitoring it, how about asking them to change the intersection so it makes more sense, flows better, and is safer? Instead of debating this, can we just get it fixed before a cyclist gets hurt? Frustrated drivers will go around those left-turning cars on the right-hand side, since they don’t want to wait.

    The second part of my original letter suggested improvements to the Huntmar/Hazeldean intersection. You have not responded to those suggestions. I was hoping that we could get those improvements looked at as well. This also contributes to the bad traffic flow.

    Lets face it – Huntmar may not have been designed for this level of traffic. But it’s there and we’re stuck with it until some other access routes are built – But there are things that can be done to deal with it.

    And personally, I would rather see a roundabout at the Maple Grove intersection. We don’t want to hear that there is no room. There is plenty of room for a smaller one. Intersections can be enlarged. Take a vote of the area residents.

    This intersection is not going away any time soon.

    Thank you again

  6. Been many weeks..updates??

    I deal with this intersection every day but only 2 or 3 times a week do I come through the intersection travelling north and turning west. Every time I do however, it’s a complete mess. Traffic behind me pulling out to go straight through, cars in the bike lane turning left, cars in BOTH lanes going straight. I was in the intersection waiting to turn left once and a OC Transpo bus blistered past me on my right!

    Point is, nobody is obeying these ridiculous traffic patterns and it’s only a matter of time before someone gets hurt.

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