Roundabout proposed for Edward and Redwood intersection in Thunder Bay
A proposal to build a roundabout at Edward Street and Redwood Avenue in Thunder Bay will get a look over by city councillors.
The city's engineering division wants to reconstruct the intersection, while work is done on Edward Street to replace water mains, and rebuild part of that roadway.
A roundabout was originally proposed for Victoria Avenue and Ford Streets in 2018, but that proposal was changed by the engineering division after a number of complaints were made, and then a traffic study said the intersection was not needed.
A pedestrian crossover was constructed instead at that intersection.
The proposal for Edward and Redwood has been mentioned before by city administration, but the proposal going to council on Monday night will confirm this is the next intersection to be prioritized for a roundabout.
Cost and safety are cited as the reasons to get away from traffic signals, said Matt Miedema, a project engineer with the city.
"So, when you look at normal traffic signals, your worst collisions are your right angles and your t-bones, which are caused by right turn movements and left turn movements through the intersection," he said.
"What the roundabout does, is basically eliminate those types of collisions."
Collisions that do occur, Miedema said, tend to be less severe than what is found in a traditional intersection.
The roundabout also reduces idling at an intersection, as traffic tends to continually move in a roundabout, he said.
The intersections do pose a challenge through for seniors and those with visual impairments, who may have difficulty navigating the area, Miedema said, although the city is working on addressing those issues.
The roundabout does have a higher upfront cost, Miedema said, which is one of the reasons administration is allowing council to comment on the proposal.
The intersection will cost about $1 million to rebuild, compared to $850,000 for regular traffic signals.
Savings will be found through operating costs, with traffic lights costing about $275,000 over 20 years to operate. The roundabout will cost about $150,000, with additional savings as time goes on.
Traffic lights have a lifespan of about 20 years, Miedema said.