Calgary Transit has ordered outbound trains to travel slower through the level crossing at Memorial Drive and Deerfoot Trail following a fatal collision in the area last month.

Sean Mackidd, 48, was killed last month after his vehicle was struck by a CTrain travelling eastbound through the intersection.

Just days later, Calgary Transit issued a directive that outbound trains approaching the crossing at Memorial Drive and Deerfoot Trail must slow to 45km/h. Typically CTrains travel at speeds close to 80km/h in the area.

“If there’s a problem area, we reassess and we make decisions based on the issues at hand,” Calgary Transit spokesperson Jenn Boyer told Global News. “Right now, our primary focus is on assessing short-term and long-term solutions to improve crossing safety overall.”

Although the intersection has a set of crossing arms for the westbound CTrain tracks at the intersection, there isn’t an arm for the eastbound tracks.

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Safety improvements will be a part of the City of Calgary’s review of the intersection, according to the city’s senior leader of mobility safety, Tony Churchill.


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“Transit is looking very closely at this to see what some of the train warning supports could be,” Churchill said. “We’re also looking at some of the signal operations to see if we can make some minor adjustments to help clear people through that space.”

Churchill said the intersection is “unique” because there are two rail crossings and intermediate space between them where vehicles stop for southbound traffic lights.

Changes to signage and repainting the roadway to help drivers navigate the area are also being looked at as part of the review.

“Pavement marking would be summer season when temperatures are appropriate,” Churchill said. “Signal timings and signage could happen on a little bit of a shorter time frame.”

Both city and transit officials are working with the Calgary Police Service on the safety study, which would require approval from the province as the crossing over Deerfoot Trail falls under its jurisdiction.

The need for a review is understandable to Ward 9 Coun. Gian-Carlo Carra, who represents the area, but he had some concerns with the review due to the nature of the February incident.

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“I believe in life safety but I think it’s disappointing a CTrain full of people have to slow down in the event somebody is driving very poorly,” Carra told Global News.

Carra said his disappointment is because the CTrain carries more people “way more cost effectively” than individual vehicles travelling through the area.

The fatal collision in February is the latest incident at the intersection and followed another fatal collision with a vehicle on the westbound CTrain tracks in December.

The interim review and temporary speed changes are welcomed by the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 583, which represents Calgary Transit operators.

“Taking that much more drastic and preventative measure is the right thing to do until they can look at the wholesome solution,” ATU Local 583 president Mike Mahar told Global News. “It’s been long enough for that intersection.”

&copy 2024 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.





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