Old Topsail Road roundabout may be scrapped
The roundabout on Old Topsail Road was built in 2012 as a means to reduce speeding traffic in the area, and some residents say it's been working, but one St. John's councillor said it's just not working properly.
The city council may vote Monday night to get rid of the only residential roundabout on the city's streets because some people say traffic problems have only gotten worse since the installation.
Area resident Don Tucker said there have already been a lot of mishaps with the roundabout.
"I've seen some close calls. Somebody took out one of the signs there during the winter," said Tucker.
However, fellow resident Patricia Walsh-Warren said people don't know how to use the roundabout, which is actually a blessing in disguise.
"There's a big stretch going right down that cars pick up 60, 70, 80 kilometres an hour, and it's been a big concern for families in the area with children, even seniors, any residents trying to cross the street," she said.
"There's some areas that don't have sidewalks so it is a very big concern, and that's why the roundabout was so welcome. And as you can see, there are cars very carefully going around it right now and it's slowing down the speed perfectly."
Not a proper structure
When designed properly, roundabouts can be even more effective at managing traffic than a set of lights.
"This is not a proper roundabout that you would see in Halifax or somewhere in the U.K., as an example," said Puddister.
He said drivers don't treat it the way they would a proper-sized roundabout, and it's not going to get the job done.
"A proper roundabout would need perhaps about five times the amount of geography that this one has. It's not a proper roundabout, it's basically a little island that people kind of scoot around."
Walsh-Warren said if the city votes to get rid of the roundabout, it better find another way to deal with the speeding traffic before taking it out.
"There are education issues of how to use a roundabout, because it's the only one here in this city," she said.
"If it's the issue that they want to take it out, we certainly want to see it replaced by something else because traffic calming on this street was a leading example for this city."