No right turns on some red lights for motorists along Valley Line Southeast LRT

Stop right there! No right turns on red lights at some intersections along the Valley Line Southeast LRT is one of the important traffic changes for motorists along the line. 

“As long as you follow the rules of the road and obey the traffic signals and obey the signage, you will be safe operating your vehicle alongside our trains,” said Dallas Lindskoog, TransEd spokesperson. “These trains share the road with the public. It’s a very integrated system.”

Recently, TransEd tested a Valley Line Southeast train at the 66 Street and 34 Avenue crossing, which is one of the intersections where, depending on their direction of travel, motorists will not be allowed to turn right after stopping at a red light.

It was a good opportunity to share again the no-right-turn-on-red safety message. Take a look, from a car driver’s point of view, at how vehicles and trains will safely interact at these intersections.

Testing, testing

The 13-km Valley Line Southeast, which will connect Mill Woods to downtown Edmonton, is anticipated to open later this summer. Edmontonians can expect to see more testing and an increasing number of trains along the line, including at downtown crossings, in the weeks ahead. As testing progresses, TransEd will have more and more trains on the line, until they essentially mimic peak-hour service, minus the passengers. 

“They’ve been doing a lot of tests to ensure that our traffic controls and train controls are talking nicely together and they’re working great,” said Lindskoog. “It’s been successful tests at this intersection and others.” 

A right-turning vehicle is stopped by signage as a Valley Line Southeast train passes through the intersection at 66 Street and 34 Avenue during a test, June 22, 2022.

For most of the route, the Valley Line Southeast trains will share the road with drivers, cyclists and pedestrians, and operate at neighbourhood speeds and in light of local conditions. The Valley Line Southeast is designed to fit better into existing neighbourhoods, with smaller-scale community stops. It is an example of what’s called low-floor, urban-style LRT

Unlike LRT crossings on the Capital Line and Metro Line, the Valley Line Southeast does not have crossing arms, gates or bells to signal the arrival of a train – this style of LRT is common in many other cities. The trains follow traffic signals just like vehicles and buses. When you see tracks, expect a train, from either direction, including from behind you. 

Valley Line Southeast train on a test run near the Stanley A. Milner Library, July 8, 2022.
Valley Line Southeast train on a test run near the Stanley A. Milner Library, July 8, 2022.

Editor’s note: the pic at the top of the post, taken June 22, 2022, shows a southbound Valley Line Southeast train on 66 Street at 34 Avenue as stopped motorists face a no-right-turn on red sign.