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Archive for October 11th, 2010

Chapman Mills Drive: A perfect site for some roundabouts

October 11, 2010 @ 11:17 By: gordon Category: General

The Ottawa Citizen has a story today about one of the lingering problems that resulted from the cancellation of the north-south rail plan a few years ago. A right-of-way for the tracks that runs between the lanes of Chapman Mills Drive in Barrhaven has gone unused. There are breaks in the resulting median at intersections with the side streets that are protected by stop signs.

The problem is that because the intersections are so large due to the width of the median, the stop signs aren’t as effective as they would be if the intersections were smaller. Gloucester-South Nepean councillor Steve Desroches says that the roadway is confusing and dangerous for both pedestrians and drivers.

It strikes me that these large intersections are ideal candidates for roundabouts. They would keep traffic flowing nicely, provide space for safe crosswalks for pedestrians and reduce the amount of time vehicles would spend waiting for traffic lights, which means fewer greenhouse gas and particulate matter emissions. And there’s also the added benefit that the city wouldn’t have to buy the traffic light equipment or pay for its on-going operation and maintenance.

The City of Ottawa’s website has a great animation of how roundabouts work. You can select the type of vehicle you’re driving and the route you’re wanting to take through the roundabout. If you’re not familiar with the way they work, you should check it out.

A tip o’ the hat to Wikipedia Commons for the animation of the roundabout.