One key feature of the design to remake Bradford’s downtown is to construct a downtown roundabout. I must admit that when I read about the concept, I was completely lost. A roundabout? Really? I remember in my younger days I had traveled to England and was
surprised to see roundabouts as a route to get to point A to point B. I’ve also seen roundabouts in Quebec, especially around the Mont Tremblant area. But never have I heard or understand the concept of a downtown roundabout before. So I decided to perform a Google search about downtown roundabouts, and to my surprise many roundabouts in the downtown core were listed.
The surprise to my amazement is the number of roundabouts used in downtown designs right here in Ontario!!
Mississauga had its roundabout open in August 2011. The comments were positive almost immediately. Pedestrians commented about how it was more friendly to them, while trucks and cars were able to use the roundabout to get around the city. The article I found also said that cars were more conscious of pedestrians on the road. A roundabout I thought, what a great idea!
Here’s the link:
The City of Windsor decided to create a roundabout when planning it’s Riverside community. This community has the highest
real estate in the city and was built to according to the author of the article, to “deter traffic”.
The idea is not so foreign it seems. What seems an issue though is that there are no clear rules about what should be done at a roundabout, in terms of the interaction between the pedestrian and the motorist. In Waterloo Region for example, the practice is to have drivers yield to pedestrians who are at the intersection, waiting to cross. To my amazement, there are no real rules of engagement between these two stakeholders at all. The author of the article insists that “That government must act. It needs to give Ontarians a law with one set of roundabout regulations and practices for drivers”. I agree 100%.
Finally, our neighbours to the north in Collingwood beat us to the punch, so to speak. They built their roundabout in 2011. I found some really interesting photos on their design. The Collingwood website also provides instructions on how to drive in a roundabout.
Here’s the link:
A roundabout is not so foreign, I conclude. The more I think about it, the better the idea it becomes! What do you think? Are you in favour or oppose the roundabout for our downtown core?