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New Villeneuve roundabout causing confusion

A new roundabout at the intersection of Highways 44 and 633 near Villeneuve, Alta. is causing some confusion for drivers.

$6.4 million project renews debate over roundabout effectiveness

The province recently converted a major highway intersection into a traffic circle near Villeneuve, Alta. 1:58

A new roundabout at the intersection of Highways 44 and 633 near Villeneuve, Alta. is causing some confusion for drivers.

People who drive the road say there have been many serious crashes there.

The province spent $6.4 million to build the circle in an effort to make the intersection safer.

However, as CBC’s Laura Osman found out, the new traffic feature has been causing problems for some drivers. 

Roundabout confusion

This is not the first time a roundabout or traffic circle has caused confusion.

In Edmonton, a collision survey complete in 2011 showed the traffic circle at 107th Avenue and 142nd Street was the site of 72 collisions that year – making it the second most common collision scene in the city (only the intersection of Yellowhead Trail and 127th Street had more crashes).

The 107th Avenue and 142nd Street traffic circle was also named as the second worst intersection in terms of total collisions in 2007.

Since we first reported about the new Villeneuve roundabout, CBC News has received many comments, tweets and Facebook posts about it – most supporting the new circle.

"Everyone should know how to use them. Super easy but no one seems to know how to use them properly," wrote Meagan Leroux on Facebook.

"They are good, if you use them properly," agreed Debbie Black, also on Facebook, adding, "there were many times that I almost got into an accident because of someone else not knowing how to drive."

Others, however, have spoken out against adding what is a usually municipal traffic feature to a major highway.

What do you think? Do traffic circles confuse drivers or make roads safer?

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