Prior to the start of any roadway project, the Transportation Department undertakes traffic studies that help us understand and account for traffic patterns in the area.
Transportation Infrastructure Priorities
At the Standing Policy Committee on Transportation meeting on March 2, 2020 a report was presented and approved that outlined the prioritization of projects and programs based on seven criteria derived from the Strategic Plan 2018-2021. These criteria include the following:
|Strategic Goals||Prioritization Criteria|
The transportation network includes an accessible and efficient transit system and a comprehensive network of active transportation to provide more choice to move around the city.
1. Improved Equity
2. Improves Accessibility
|Traffic flow throughout the city is safe and optimal.||
3. Improves Safety
4. Optimizes Traffic Flow
5. Addresses Network Gaps
|Parking availability is optimized.||6. Optimizes Parking|
Our Plan for Growth is sustainable, through a balanced approach to land use, transportation choices, and efficient servicing.
7. Facilitates Infill Development
Other considerations that are used to finalize the prioritized list of projects and programs include:
- Prior commitments;
- Coordinating work with other projects and priorities; and
- Balancing the required work with available resources.
At the Regular Business Meeting of City Council on June 29, 2020 a report was presented, and the Prioritized Transportation Projects List was approved in principle. This list can also be found in the Saskatoon Transportation Master Plan along with a description of each identified project.
Functional Planning Studies
North Saskatoon Network Planning Study
The North Saskatoon Network Planning Study will assist with planning transportation network needs on the major roads in the study area. The fundamental question considered in the study is how intersections connecting to the provincial highway system are configured: as grade-separated interchanges or at-grade intersections.
A summary of the information prepared to date includes:
- Study goals;
- Transportation network options;
- Evaluation criteria; and
- Draft future transportation network.
The final report will be presented to the Standing Policy Committee on Transportation in 2020.
Circle Drive West Functional Planning Study
The City of Saskatoon is working with CIMA Canada Inc. to complete a long-term plan for Circle Drive West between Clancy Drive and Laurier Drive.
The following goals were presented at the Circle Drive West Open House on June 19, 2019:
- Achieve free-flow traffic by removing the traffic signals and left-hand exits and entries;
- Retain current turning options and access at Clancy Drive and Laurier Drive;
- Improve the function of the Circle Drive interchange at 22nd Street West;
- And improve the function of the intersection of 22nd Street and Confederation Drive.
An additional Open House was held on January 22, 2020 to present the preferred plan and gather feedback.
More information is provided on the project Engage Page.
Highway 11 / Highway 16 Interchange Functional Planning Study
A Functional Planning Study for the Highway 11 and Highway 16 Interchange was completed to determine what improvements can be made to improve the safety and function of the interchange.
The junction of Highways 11 and 16 in southeast Saskatoon is currently operating as a 1960’s era cloverleaf interchange. Both highways are considered national and provincial primary routes and any future interchange will require a system-level interchange function and need to be flexible for conversion to an urban service-level interchange in the future.
The Stonebridge partial interchange opened in the fall of 2016 and has facilitated additional traffic through the cloverleaf interchange.
Scope of Functional Planning Study
The objectives of the functional planning study were to:
- Improve overall traffic operations at this junction
- Reduce collisions (improve safety)
- Add capacity for critical movements
- Facilitate good interconnections between the two provincial highways
- Minimize environmental impacts
- Minimize right-of-way acquisition and impacts
- Optimize costs and benefits
The study included connecting roads, the interchange, and the nearest upstream and/or downstream interchanges or intersections in the analysis (no significant changes were considered at Preston Avenue, Taylor Street, Boychuk Drive and Vic Boulevard).
Click here for the Functional Planning Study.
Central Avenue and Attridge Drive Study
Central Avenue and Attridge Drive are classified as major arterials and are expected to carry 10,000 to 30,000 vehicles per day. The most recent traffic counts on Attridge Drive showed an Average Daily Traffic (ADT) of 30,000 vehicles per day. Central Avenue had an ADT of 15,000 vehicles per day.
Regular monitoring and traffic studies have determined the intersection of Central Avenue and Attridge Drive experiences lengthy delays during daily peak hours. Those living in surrounding neighbourhoods use this intersection as access core areas of the city such as downtown. As development in the area continues, traffic pressures are expected to increase.
The development of the North Commuter Parkway, will help alleviate some congestion in this area. However, a functional plan was developed to assess the operational needs of the intersection and includes a number of suggested improvements that will promote improved traffic flows. Highlights include:
- No interchange, intersection modifications only.
- Construction of a southbound right-turn bay from Central Avenue to Attridge Drive.
- Construction of a new westbound lane on Attridge Drive from Central Avenue to the Circle Drive North on-ramp.
- Eastbound and westbound left-turns from Attridge Drive onto Central Avenue will operate on signal arrow only (i.e. fully-protected).
- Construction of a second eastbound left-turn bay from Attridge Drive onto Central Avenue, as well as left-turn bay lengthening to provide more storage.
- Move the Circle Drive North off-ramp (to Attridge Drive eastbound) to increase the distance from the off-ramp to Central Avenue and address merging and weaving issues.
- Change traffic signal timing to reduce delays (pending shifted traffic patterns after opening the Chief Mistawasis Bridge).
Pending funding, most changes may be phased-in. Other changes, such as major modifications to signal operations to reduce delays, have been completed since the opening of the Chief Mistawasis Bridge.
Preston Avenue Corridor
Considering future traffic demands along Preston Avenue between 14th Street and Circle Drive, a comprehensive review has been conducted. During the consultation and review process, the City was able to identify current and future operations of the roadway and needs and priorities. As a result of this review, the Transportation Division has developed a number of modifications and improvements to the Preston Avenue Corridor.
As part of the review process, all the intersections along the Preston Avenue corridor were reviewed and analyzed using current data, including traffic and pedestrian volumes as well as collision statistics and specific recommendations and countermeasures were identified.
Southwest Transportation Study
The Southwest Transportation Study (formerly 11th Street Corridor Study) was initiated to identify concerns and examine opportunities to improve safety and efficiency of motorists, pedestrians and cyclists in the southwest area of the City. The increase in traffic since Circle Drive South opened and the incessant traffic and safety concerns in the neighbourhoods support the need for a comprehensive study of the Southwest area of the City.
The study includes a long term plan for the desirable connection between the west sector and the downtown (identified in the West Industrial Concept Plan, approved by City Council on May 20, 2008).