The City of Burnaby says it is embracing innovation to solve a long-standing traffic issue at one of the busiest transit stations in Metro Vancouver.
Buses on 12 different routes need to make a left turn in order to enter the bus loop at the Metrotown SkyTrain Station at Metropolis at Metrotown mall. But without a dedicated left-turn lane, buses were bunching up waiting to make a turn, slowing down transit as well as through traffic on Central Boulevard.
The City of Burnaby partnered with TransLink and local company Botech Engineering and Consulting Inc. to deploy a “cutting-edge” LiDAR system at the intersection. The LiDAR system uses lasers to detect buses, activating a special LED signal that gives buses a protected left turn into the bus loop.
“This is the first time a LiDAR-based sensor has been deployed to detect buses in a mixed stream of traffic on a travel lane,” says a city news release. “LiDAR can precisely detect length and height to identify a bus in total darkness, shade, snow or rain — something artificial intelligence-based (AI) cameras can’t do.”
The city says this will result in:
Reduced delays as buses make the advance turn without impeding traffic.
Improved pedestrian safety at the intersection.
The city saves time and money by not having to install a dedicated left-turn lane for buses only, which would have required the city to acquire property or reduce the number of traffic lanes.