Friday, November 2, 2012

Traffic snarls result in fines

The City of Calgary is seeking bylaw charges against Enmax Corporation after delays at one of the company’s construction projects resulted in major traffic delays earlier this week.

Enmax faces a fine of $10,000 under Streets Bylaw 20M88 for failing to meet the conditions of a permit issued for work it was doing at 6 Avenue and 1 Street S.E. The road was supposed to be reopened to commuters for the morning rush hour at 5 a.m. but the opening was delayed for several hours, resulting in major traffic delays.

“We issue permits with conditions that are meant to protect Calgarians and best serve the needs of the travelling public,” said Roads Director Ryan Jestin. “The conditions of this permit were not adhered to and Calgarians experienced major inconveniences. We want to be very clear that this isn't acceptable.”

On average, The City of Calgary issues 30 street use closures/permits each day to allow work on all City right-of-ways. Roads creates traffic control plans in support of permitted work to help manage traffic and keep it flowing, especially during rush hour periods.

Permits for planned work, such as day to day maintenance and upgrades, allow for “off peak” hours to minimize impacts on commuters. Permits for emergency work such as a water main or gas line break allow for work to be done immediately to address safety issues.

 Enmax was issued a permit for work at this location but failed to meet the conditions of the permit.

Enmax crews were supposed to be off the road and have lanes open by 5 a.m. Monday morning in time for the morning rush hour.

“The failure to reopen the road on time resulted in Calgarians being inconvenienced,” said Jestin. When The City was notified that the road was not reopened, steps were taken to adjust traffic patterns and alert Calgarians. Traffic signals were retimed to help traffic flow, other detours were adjusted to help flow, transit operations were adjusted and accurate information was shared with the public as it became available. The City has also reviewed processes to see where adjustments and improvements can be made to avoid similar situations in the future.

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