New St. Peters Road plan eliminates Angus Drive roundabout
‘For the roundabout to work safely we had to have an exit off Angus’
The P.E.I. government has come back with a new plan for the East Royalty section of St. Peters Road, following Charlottetown city council's rejection of a new access road for Mel's Convenience.
The plan eliminates the roundabout at Angus Drive, the closest intersection to Mel's, and will add a central island down St. Peters Road preventing left-hand turns onto or off of Angus, as well as into or out of Mel's.
"For the roundabout to work safely we had to have an exit off Angus to allow cars to proceed into Mel's," provincial engineer Stephen Yeo told Island Morning host Mitch Cormier.
"Because that was rejected, the province is going to go with two roundabouts, one at Oakland and one at MacWilliams."
Council said no to the new access road after complaints from local residents about traffic being diverted onto a residential street.
Without the access road, which would have come out about 50 meters down Angus Drive, drivers exiting Mel's onto St. Peters Road would enter a high traffic area with just 40 metres before they reached the roundabout, which included pedestrian crossings.
Drivers would have found themselves changing lanes and looking over their shoulders at the same time as they were approaching a crosswalk, said Yeo. Even without that problem, the 40 metres would not be enough space to change lanes during rush hours.
It would have led to accidents involving both pedestrians and other vehicles, and the safest solution was to eliminate the roundabout altogether, said Yeo.
Under the new plan, a driver coming up from the bypass heading for Angus Drive or Mel's would drive past and through to the roundabout at MacWilliams, about 500 metres further along, and turn around there.
If that driver wanted to continue east along St. Peters after leaving Mel's or Angus Drive, they would turn right and proceed to the roundabout at Oakland, again about 500 metres away. There they could turn around 180 degrees and carry on.
There will be no pedestrian crossing at Angus under the new plan. The nearest crossings would be at Oakland or MacWilliams.
While Yeo believes this is the best solution possible given the restrictions put in place by the city, he is frustrated by how less efficient the traffic flow will be.
"Because we can't build this Angus roundabout now, cars are going to have to travel a longer distance and utilize spaces in the other two roundabouts that they wouldn't need to use," he said.
"There is a lot of development out in East Royalty, and over the next number of years there's going to be a lot of building and so forth, so again you know the efficiency of the two roundabouts becomes less and less as the population grows out there and the amount of cars and traffic is going to increase. So it's disappointing to see that we can't build the third roundabout there. In the long term it would be a good asset."
Construction on the project is planned for this summer, with completion in August or September.
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With files from Island Morning