Nfld. & Labrador

Kenmount Terrace roundabout has resident spinning his wheels

A St. John's homeowner says a roundabout in front of his home has been blocking access to his driveway. The city says it's temporary.

City built mini-roundabout as temporary measure after complaints of speeding

Mike Walbourne lives at the corner of Grand Western Avenue and Petite Forte Drive in St. John's and says a temporary roundabout in front of his house means he can no longer safely back his truck into his driveway. (CBC)

A St. John's homeowner says the construction of a temporary roundabout in front of his house is blocking him from safely accessing his driveway.

The City of St. John's recently built the roundabout at the intersection of Great Eastern Drive and Petite Forte Drive as part of an effort to get drivers in the area to reduce their speed.

The installation came after residents complained of unsafe driving, so the city opted for a mini-roundabout. Its effectiveness will be evaluated over the next several months before a decision to build a more permanent one is decided.

But Mike Walbourne, who lives on Great Eastern Drive, said one of the medians installed impedes his ability to pull in and out of his driveway.

He told CBC he can't back onto his property without driving over the median, slowing down any oncoming traffic in the process.

"In solving an issue I think they've created a couple problems," Walbourne said. 

"You can't place a roundabout in front of people's driveways and expect there to not be a problem."

A temporary mini roundabout outside on St. John's home means Mike Walbourne can't safely back into his driveway. 3:23

Must see pilot project through, councillor says

Sheilagh O'Leary, councillor for Ward 4, emphasized that the roundabout, for now, is temporary.

The City of St. John's built the temporary mini-roundabout at the corner of Great Eastern Drive and Petite Forte Drive as an experimental traffic calming measure. The effectiveness of the roundabout will be determined later in the fall, at which time a decision will be made on whether or not to build a more permanent structure. (CBC)

"I have received an incredible number of emails and calls from residents who were desperate to see some traffic calming happening in the area, particularly in the Great Eastern area," she said.

After discussions with planners and other councillors, the roundabout pilot project was proposed as a solution, which council approved.

The pilot project ends just before the winter, she said, and council will review all public input at that time before deciding whether or not to keep it. She said city officials visit the site regularly and are working with residents who have concerns and complaints.

Ward four councillor Sheilagh O'Leary says city officials have been monitoring the with and working with residents in the area who have concerns and complaints. (Jeremy Eaton/CBC)

"I firmly believe that when council unanimously supports these kinds of initiatives to see how we can improve the traffic flow in our communities, that we need to stand by that and see it right through to its end then get all the public input, the commentary," she said.

"If it works, wonderful, we'll see it through and if it didn't work, and the public are not happy with it, well then we will scrap it and we will try to address it in another form — in another way."

With files from Jeremy Eaton and Krissy Holmes