Roundabouts unsafe for pedestrians, says Sean Strickland

Region of Waterloo councillor Sean Strickland says roundabouts are not safe for pedestrians. The comments come after a 26-year-old Waterloo woman was struck by a vehicle at the Erb Street West and Ira Needles Boulevard roundabout by a driver that police say failed to yield.
The roundabout at Erb St. W and Ira Needles Blvd in Waterloo. (Google)

A Waterloo Region councillor says roundabouts are not a one-size fits all solution and are unsafe for pedestrians.

The comments from Sean Strickland come after a 26-year-old Waterloo woman was struck by a vehicle at the Erb Street West and Ira Needles Boulevard roundabout by a driver that police say failed to yield.

"Roundabouts in my view are great for traffic. They work really well for traffic, they do not work and nor are they designed very well to deal with pedestrians," said Strickland.

"And that's why I don't think it's appropriate to have roundabouts in high pedestrian areas."

Strickland noted that the roundabout at the pedestrian-heavy corner of Homer Watson Boulevard and Block Line Road, near St. Mary's High School, is one that he considers unsafe. 

"At St. Mary's for example, and based on my own experience of travelling through roundabouts, they are not pedestrian-friendly," Strickland said.

"Drivers have a hard enough time navigating roundabouts just driving, let alone adding in the variable of a pedestrian. I remain concerned."

Strickland is also on record in opposition of a proposed traffic circle near St. Benedict Catholic Secondary School at Franklin Boulevard and Saginaw Parkway in Cambridge.

Strickland says traffic circles have been adapted for pedestrians in Europe with tunnels, bridges and traffic lights, though the measures can add significant costs to the construction of the roundabout. 

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