For those that have driven through Edmonton, you know how frustrating it can be if you encounter the railroad crossing at 82 Avenue and 50 Street. That’s because there are nearly 40 crossings by trains every single day, and these crossings typically last for more than five minutes. Sometimes, these crossings can go for nearly 20 minutes.
It’s one of the most beleaguered intersections in all of Canada, which is why people have come up with some very colorful nicknames for this crossing. Now, you can watch the suffering that Edmontonians have to go through at the intersection as a camera was placed there, putting up a 24 hour a day livestream. Mtek Digital is responsible for the camera, and they hope they can find out what makes this crossing so frustrating.
“We’re constantly cursing this 50 Street train crossing,” David Papp of Mtek said. “We thought it would kind of be a challenge for us to custom program a train-detection algorithm.” He added that he was watching the stream and saw a train blocking traffic for 45 minutes out of an entire hour.
Because of Papp’s camera, he’s been able to find out when people should avoid the crossing. “The peak zone right now is from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.,” he said. “Traffic, rush hour. That’s the peak time that you’ll see the most number of trains…Edmontonians have this hate-hate relationship with that 50 Street crossing because it’s just never good. Chances are you will hit a train.”