City of Cranbrook ditching traffic sensors for cameras

After reports that traffic signals weren't working in recent weather, the sensors will be replaced with traffic cameras.

After receiving reports that traffic signals at intersections in the city were not working in the recent weather conditions, Cranbrook Public Works will be replacing the sensors with traffic cameras. CAO Wayne Staudt said that when Public Works staff investigated they found that the the pavement sensors were not being activated as drivers could not see the lane markings and so would sometimes miss driving onto the sensor.

“That technology is failing us, especially in winter conditions,” Staudt said. He also noted that some of the sensors have failed outright. Replacement of those was estimated at $25,000.

Instead of replacing the sensors, the city ordered new traffic cameras. Staudt said they are the latest technology and are coming at a lower cost than replacing the failed sensors.

“Cameras perform their role even when vehicles do not stop in the prescribed lanes, thereby, increasing their functionality over traffic sensors,” Staudt said.

He added that although the cameras have been received, city staff have not been able to install them at this time because the ducts where the wiring is to be installed are blocked with ice.

“Unfortunately we haven’t got those cameras hooked up right now because it was in the winter months that we started to implement those cameras,” he said. “Hopefully in a year from now we’ll have cameras in most of those areas.”

He anticipates the first cameras will be installed in the spring.

Coun. Denise Pallesen asked whether the technology would be put in at 2nd Street and 14th Avenue, since she said on a motorcycle the sensor isn’t triggered. She said that was the only one that she had found to be an issue in the summer months.

He also said the city will be using the technology for all traffic signals in the future.