Monday, August 09, 2010

Traffic roundabouts proposed for Fredericton
(as posted by CBC News, August 07/10)

Motorists in the capital city have already had some practice in circular driving because the city has three traffic circles. But the circles are meant to slow vehicles down rather than control their flow. To do that, the city should install the circles' larger cousins, roundabouts, Coun. Mike O'Brien said Friday.

He gained some experience with them during a recent vacation in Europe.
"I was a little timid the first time going through them, but after a couple of days they worked great," O'Brien said. "Traffic flowed smoothly."

Darren Charters, Fredericton's traffic engineer, is also a fan of roundabouts. He said they would improve the flow of traffic at major intersections in the city.

But, as O'Brien learned in Europe, drivers do need to be educated about how they work. Charters said educating drivers about how to properly use roundabouts would be part of the project.

"I've seen other cities, they have massive campaigns. They have information on their websites," he said. "It's just that people — especially in New Brunswick — aren't used to them." But Charters said roundabouts are fairly easy to use: "Yield on entry, and then proceed to the right around the intersection."

Charters said he will present some roundabout proposals to city council later this month.

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