Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Roving Tow Truck Pilot Making an Impact

Keeping Calgarians on the move on major roadways is a little easier since The City’s roving tow truck pilot program began in February.

The one-year trial program, aimed at improving rush hour traffic flow and the safety of people using major roadways, has already made quite an impact on Calgarians’ daily commute.

Tow trucks have responded to an average of 7 incidents per day at various locations along high traffic routes in Calgary. Since starting February 16, operators have assisted at approximately 255 incidents involving vehicles that were stalled, abandoned or inoperable and moved those vehicles to a nearby safe location.

Moving stalled or inoperable vehicles off busy roadways to a nearby safe location helps ensure the safety of stranded motorists and passengers, clears traffic hazards and helps keep Calgarians on the move. In one instance, a tow truck operator assisted a driver in medical distress by calling an ambulance, staying with the driver until emergency crews arrived and then moving the motorist’s vehicle to a nearby safe location.

Under the pilot program, tow truck operators are focusing on high traffic routes of Crowchild Trail at the Bow River crossing; Memorial Drive between Deerfoot Trail and Edmonton Trail; Macleod Trail from Anderson Road to 162 Avenue S.W.; Glenmore Trail between Crowchild Trail and 14 Street S.W.; and along Deerfoot Trail. In addition, The City’s Traffic Management Centre has directed operators to assist motorists who have been detected on traffic cameras in the 24-hour centre. Communications between tow truck operators and the Traffic Management Centre is a vital part of detecting and addressing incidents on the roadways.

The pilot service is free to motorists. Council approved the use of $636,000 from the Fiscal Stability Reserve to run the pilot for up to a year.

The City will continue to monitor the success of this trial service and report back to Council by November 2010.

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