Taxi collides with Valley Line LRT after illegal right turn on red: TransEd

There was more trouble along the LRT Valley Line Tuesday evening after a taxi collided with one of the trains during testing in the Bonnie Doon area.

By Elliott Knopp and Carly Robinson

There was more trouble along the LRT Valley Line Tuesday evening after a taxi collided with one of the trains during testing in the Bonnie Doon area.

Edmonton Fire Rescue Services says it responded to reports of the collision shortly after 5:30 p.m. Three fire crews arrived on scene to provide assistance.

There were no injuries reported.

TransEd says the taxi driver illegally turned right from 83 Street to 90 Avenue eastbound.

“This location has had no right turn ever since we removed the traffic circle a few years ago,” TransEd spokesperson Dallas Lindskoog told CityNews via email Wednesday. “The driver also mentioned he has been illegally turning right here for some time and was surprised to learn from other taxi drivers that showed up to investigate that it was a banned turn.

“At this location we even have a large electronic message board (VMS) that says ‘no right turn’. For clarity while similar, this is not a no right turn on red condition. It is a permanent banned right turn.”

Crews surround the LRT Valley Line on March 28, 2023 after a collision with a taxi. (CityNews)

CityNews spoke to the taxi driver involved in the crash. He said he didn’t see the sign and that it felt the train came out of nowhere.

The driver’s yellow taxi did sustain some damage. The train’s damage appears to be cosmetic, TransEd said.

“Our LRT train operator was shaken up but no injuries, just a bit sore,” added Lindskoog.

No crossing arms, bells or gates

The city and TransEd have previously said drivers will have to get used to not having crossing gates and ringing bells.

Valley Line is considered a low-floor transit system, designed to be more integrated in neighbourhoods and does not have crossing arms, bells or gates.

“This style of LRT system is common in many other cities,” says Adam Laughlin, the deputy city manager of integrated Infrastructure Services.

Laugling stresses it’s up to all Edmontonians to take note of changes.

“Due to the design of this new system, there are changes at intersections for motorists, pedestrians and cyclists,” he said. “As signage indicates, right turns are not allowed on red lights at some intersections along the LRT alignment. At other intersections, right turns are no longer permitted at any time, and drivers must use alternate routes.”

The city is set to launch a second phase of safety campaign to help everyone understand the new traffic patterns.

There had been five vehicle collisions with the Valley Line LRT from November to March 24. TransEd said those incidents were a result of drivers illegally turning right on a red light.

The opening of the Valley Line, which is a couple years behind schedule, has already been delayed several times.

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