About 50 people turned out for an information session in Paradise on Wednesday night to find out more about a roundabout that's under construction in the town.

The roundabout will be located at the busy intersection ​of Kenmount Road and Karwood Drive.

Michael MacDonald

Michael MacDonald, of the consulting engineering firm Hatch Mott MacDonald, says roundabouts provide "a supreme level of safety." (CBC)

Design engineers and Paradise town officials were present at the meeting, trying to convince residents that the new roundabout will be easy to use.

An engineer with the company that designed the roundabout believes drivers will get used to it.

Michael MacDonald of Hatch Mott MacDonald said based on projects elsewhere, the long-term benefits are clear.

"The one single argument is safety — and the statistics are overwhelmingly in favour of the fact that these types of intersection treatments reduce accidents and reduce the severity of accidents," MacDonald told CBC.

"And those are studies in the U.S., where roundabouts are starting to be built with more frequency."  

MacDonald said Wednesday night's meeting is part of a process to introduce people to a roundabout concept.  

Debbie Hussey

Debbie Hussey, a resident of Paradise, attended Wednesday night's public meeting. (CBC)

He said people will eventually get used to the idea of how traffic will change at the intersection.

"Time and time again we see that, as people see them in operation and get familiar with them. All of a sudden they realize, 'Yeah this is a good thing and it's safe. Vehicle speeds are slow. It operates well. I'm able to get through it."' 

Paradise resident Debbie Hussey said driver education will be key in the roundabout's success.

"I think a roundabout, from the presentations, it's a great concept, as long as it works. I think driver education is going to be actually huge here in our town," said Hussey.

"I am not opposed to any idea. If you have the right things in place to make things work, it will work smoothly from the beginning. A few people are a bit nervous about it; and as we know, with anything new, there's a big learning curve."

The new traffic roundabout expected to be completed by September.