Fredericton has given the green light to an education campaign that will help prepare the city’s drivers for a new roundabout that will be installed across a four-lane provincial highway.
The city budget contained money to start the construction of a $2-million roundabout that will be located at the top of Smythe Street and link Highway 8 and Bishop Drive.
Some of the city’s drivers have expressed concern that people will have difficulty navigating the two lanes of traffic.
Darren Charters, the city’s traffic engineer, said an education campaign will be part of the process as the roundabout is built over the next two years.
"I'm very confident people will get this. The worst that could happen is maybe a sideswipe in a roundabout. T-bone collisions are gone," Charters said.
"There's less conflict … we want to have people understand how they work before it's implemented. I don't know if there's any specific education campaigns out there for merging. There will be on how to use a dual-lane roundabout."
The traffic engineer said the single-lane roundabouts in the city have worked "quite well." But he said the double-lane roundabout does complicate how drivers navigate the traffic calming device.
Charters said the city already has most of the land it needs for the roundabout project.
The plan also includes a crosswalk so pedestrians can get across the highway between Prospect Street and Bishop Drive. Charters said that still needs to be approved by safety experts who are reviewing the project.
The city has set aside $500,000 to start the project this year.
Coun. Bruce Grandy, the chairperson of the city's finance committee, said Fredericton is willing to pay the full cost of the project, but he is hoping the provincial government will come forward with some financial help.
Fredericton has already installed two roundabouts in other parts of the city.