GRANDE PRAIRIE - Traffic
. . .

GRANDE PRAIRIE
ALBERTA, CANADA


Construction on the turning lanes at 116 Street near Costco on the west side of Grande Prairie. These turning lanes were completed late fall of 2005.

One of the busiest intersections is the corner of 100 Street and Highway 40. Traffic funnels into the Highway By-Pass from both Highway 40 from the south and Highway 43 from the west.

More lights were recently installed along the Highway By-Pass.

Traffic fines increase.
It will now cost $287 for going through a red light, and $115 for proceeding through a yellow light.


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GRANDE PRAIRIE - Traffic at a Standstill

(October 2005, Highway By-pass and 100 Street)

With the population now over 44,600 people, Grande Prairie has severely out-grown its present day road structure. A new Highway 43 By-Pass around the city is in the works in hopes of solving traffic problems but is still awaiting the official approval from Alberta Infrastructure who have a functional planning study in progress. Once approved it could still take a few years before it is actually complete. Until then, the population continues to grow causing the problem to worsen.

"It won't be long before all traffic in Grande Prairie comes to a complete halt", says a concerned Grande Prairie driver who insists that at certain times of the day, there is evidence of the early stages of that happening already. "At some intersections, when the light turns to green you can't go forward, because the people can't clear the intersection because the traffic is backed up at the next light and those people are waiting for the traffic to clear at another light". On a Friday afternoon it is becoming a common event to wait for at least 3 light changes before being able to go through the intersection at 100 street and the present day Highway By-Pass. This intersection is the only road that can be used for travellers trying to by-pass the city without stopping either on their way north to Peace River and beyond or east to Edmonton. It is also the intersection that most of city residents have to pass through as well to get out of town to the north or east. "It can't be good for the environment if our engines are idling and were not going anywhere. Once it snows and gets icy, the situation is just going to get worse".

Ken Connors owner/developer of discoverthepeacecountry.com has recently done an unofficial traffic comparison between Edmonton and Grande Prairie. In each test case, the quickest roadway was used to pass through each city. In the City of Edmonton, the Yellowhead Highway was tested from east city limits to the west which was found to be approximately 21km and took 17 minutes on a Saturday afternoon. There were 8 lights in total and half of them were green. The average speed was 74 kph. The quickest way to pass through the City of Grande Prairie from west to north was utilizing the Highway By-Pass and totalled 7km from each city limits. There were a total of 12 lights. 7 were green lights and 7 were red . (One intersection had repeated red lights before proceeding) The test showed a total time spent crossing the City of Grande Prairie on a Friday afternoon was 17 1/2 minutes with an average speed of 24km. Amazingly, to travel the 7km in Grande Prairie took longer than to travel 21km in Edmonton. In this example Grande Prairie traffic was three times slower than Edmonton.

January 2006 Test: A new route around the present Highway By-pass could be one of the roads considered for upgrading. From Costco (116 Street) north to Bear Creek Golf Course and then north and east to the 4 Mile corner is about 10 km. A reasonable test by Ken Connors showed that this gravel route takes about 8 1/2 minutes. It is longer in distance than the Highway By-Pass but takes less than half the time in this comparison.







GRANDE PRAIRIE

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