The City of St. Albert in Central Alberta attracts businesses and residents seeking a “small town” environment combined with amenities and activities common to larger cities, such as the nearby City of Edmonton. As the community of 65,000 residents continues to grow, it is experiencing “big city” problems such as traffic congestion, delays, and accidents.
In 2016, Associated Engineering completed the St. Albert Transportation Master Plan that recommended the use of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) to improve the efficiency, safety and security of the City’s transportation network. Following the completion of the plan, the City wished to develop an ITS “roadmap” to help achieve its vision of being an inviting, vibrant community. Also, the Transportation Master Plan and St. Albert’s Smart City Master Plan both discussed the steps needed for a more efficient, safer, “smart city”. Transportation, innovation, and information are foundational elements in the City’s future. To support these goals and aspirations, the City retained Associated Engineering with PBX Engineering to prepare an ITS Strategic Plan.
A collaborative approach fostered team-building, improved communications, creative ideas, and buy-in to St. Albert’s ITS Strategic Plan
A collaborative approach was key to the success of this project. Project Manager, Kent Eklund, says, “Our team worked with the City’s Steering Committee and stakeholders over several workshops to define St. Albert’s ITS vision, mission and principles, which guided the development of the ITS Strategic Plan.” As a gateway to Northern Alberta, the ITS plan had to address regional and provincial needs. Also, as a participant in the Federal Smart City Challenge, the ITS plan also had to respect federal considerations.
The ITS Strategic Plan identifies 14 strategies and 41 projects to improve the safety and efficiency of the City’s transportation network. Key aspects that contribute to the success of the ITS plan are its inclusion of a series of unique pilot projects, incorporation of existing programs, and development of an implementation strategy that identifies short-and medium-term projects.
ITS Specialist, Keenan Kitasaka, tells us, “Flexibility is embedded in the plan so that as the City evolves and ITS technology advances, the City can revise and upgrade the ITS Plan. This will not only improve safety and efficiency of the transportation network, but also supports economic prosperity, promotes active transportation and transit, and encourages innovation and technological excellence to establish St. Albert as a Smart City of the Future.”
The City has begun deploying the first projects in the ITS Strategic Plan, using the ITS Implementation Strategy that the team developed.
Our key staff involved on the project include Keenan Kitasaka, Kent Eklund, and Monique Beaudry; and from the City of St. Albert, Dean Schick.