The City of Edmonton is expanding the Whitemud to 6 lanes between 50th and 66th/75th† streets.
The major arterial road will be expanded to six lanes between 50th Street and 75th Street, with the addition of a concrete median stretching from 17th Street to 75th Street.† If you're not familiar with Edmonton, this designation which is actually one road may confuse you. If you are familiar, it will merely infuriate you.
Dedicated auxiliary lanes will be part of the widening, in addition to the six lanes between 50th Street and 75th Street, and will give commuters the option to merge into traffic or exit at the next interchange.
The widening is an effort to accommodate growing traffic along the Whitemud.
It's a decent enough improvement, but will do little to impact the second biggest problem‡ in that section of the freeway, which is the bottleneck which is the 99th street and 91st street eastbound access ramps. One of the two 99th street lanes ends under the 97th street flyover while the other continues straight onto 91st street. Unfortunately that forces everybody who doesn't want to go on 91st street into the left lane (which is a whole lot of people) and then pull into the regular freeway traffic. Then, 450 metres later, the right lane of the Whitemud branches into the straightaway lane (that the people who turned off 99th street or 106 street or Gateway but not Calgary Trail for reasons that will hurt your brain are using) and then the turning off lane, for everybody who wants to use 91st street which is the greatest north-south road on the southside [that's damning with faint praise, though. -ed]. As you can imagine, there are now three different groups of traffic using the same lane at three different speed/acceleration profiles:
- The people who left 99th street, now accelerating to the proper (ie. 120 km/hr) speed that you would drive on the Whitemud
- The people who want to turn onto 91st street, now slowing to a good lane transition speed, like 100 km/hr
- The idiots who have been going straight on the Whitemud this entire time, maybe will turn onto 75th or 66th or maybe they won't, haven't figured out that the lane is going to get horribly congested, and therefore slow down to about 65 km/hr because this sort of driver is overly cautious and probably asian
I would have definitely fixed that first.