The use of signs, traffic signals or crosswalks at intersections play a big part of ensuring motorist and pedestrian safety. Using input from residents and collected data, the Transportation Department will assess and determine if any of these traffic management tools are required at a specific location.
If you think your neighbourhood would benefit from the addition of a stop sign, traffic lights or a pedestrian cross walk, please call the Transportation Department directly.
Where there are no traffic control signs, the driver of a vehicle approaching an intersection must yield the right-of-way to any vehicle or pedestrian already in the intersection. When two vehicles approach an intersection from different streets or highways at approximately the same time, the right-of-way rule requires the driver of the vehicle on the left to yield the right-of-way to the vehicle on the right.
Yield and Stop Controlled Intersections
The City will employ the least restrictive control device possible to achieve the desired results and safety. Where the right-of-way rule does not suffice, yield or stop signs are used where traffic engineering studies indicate that the use is warranted. Factors considered are:
- Vehicular, bicycle and pedestrian traffic volumes on all approaches
- Number and angle of approaches
- Approach speeds
- Sight distance available on each approach
- Reported collision experience
Yield or stop signs are usually used at an intersection if one or more of the following conditions exist:
- An intersection of a less important road with a main road;
- A street entering a designated through highway or street; or
- An unsignalized intersection in a signalized area.
At intersections where a full stop is not necessary at all times, consideration is first given to using less restrictive measures such as yield signs. The yield sign indicates to drivers that they must yield the right-of-way, stopping if necessary, before entering the intersection area and must not proceed until it is safe to do so.
The stop sign indicates to drivers that they must stop their vehicles completely before entering the intersection area and must not proceed until it is safe to do so.
Multi-way stop control is typically used where the volume of traffic on the intersecting roads is approximately equal.
Traffic signals promote the proper use of right-of-way at intersections and contribute to the safe movement of vehicles and pedestrians.
The Transportation Department is responsible for assessing, coordinating, installing, operating and maintaining 261 signalized intersections in Saskatoon. More than half of the traffic signals in Saskatoon are controlled by a centralized computer for real-time monitoring.
Several issues are considered when determining if an intersection should have traffic signals including:
- Vehicle and pedestrian volumes on the main street and side street(s)
- Collision history
- Traffic and roadway characteristics, such as vehicle speed and traffic delays
- Intersection lane configuration, sight lines and grades
Many signalized intersections in Saskatoon have vehicle detectors located at the stop lines on side streets which activate the green light. If you waited an excessively long time without receiving a green light, it is likely that your vehicle was not seen by the detector. Be sure to stop at the stop line to ensure that your vehicle is detected by the sensors.
A left-turn arrow typically comes on when a vehicle detector determines there is a minimum of four to five vehicles in a turning lane. Otherwise, it is generally assumed one to three vehicles will be able to turn left on the solid green when adequate gaps appear in the oncoming traffic, and/or will clear the intersection during the amber/red light.
Roundabouts are circular intersections that improve road safety, manage increased traffic demand and help improve air quality by eliminating unnecessary stops and idling.
In a roundabout, the vehicle on the right must yield to the vehicle on the left.
Tips for driving in a roundabout
- Slow down.
- Look and plan ahead.
- Pedestrians go first. When entering or exiting a roundabout, yield to pedestrians at the crosswalk.
- Look to the left, yield to all traffic in the roundabout, find a safe gap and then go.
- Don't pass vehicles in a roundabout.
Tips for walking in a roundabout
- Step to the curb and indicate your intent to cross.
- Look and listen for a safe gap in traffic flow.
- Do not cross until the driver stops.
- Keep and make eye contact with drivers in all lanes.
- Walk to the crosswalk briskly and deliberately.
Tips for cycling in a roundabout
- Ride as if you were driving a car.
- Merge into the travel lane before the bike lane or shoulder ends.
- Ride in the middle of your lane; don't hug the curb.
- Use hand signals and signal as if you were a motorist.
Cyclists using crosswalks:
- Dismount and walk your bicycle.
- Follow tips for pedestrians.
Click here to learn more about how to use a roundabout.