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January 22, 2010

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Kelly A. Schnurr

Pedestrian fatalities are tragic! No question. But autos and pedestrians both use the road, both need to be responsible.
I remember, as a young child, saying to my Mother "come on let's cross - the light is green". Her comment was "Honey - there is a car coming - let's make sure he is going to stop - there is no sense in being 'dead right'.
Both drivers and pedestrians need to looking all the time!!!

Colin Morton

We've got a new roundabout on the UBC campus, the first of several to be installed as they reconfigure the major thoroughfares onto campus. All they've done is put zebra crossings on every branch, visually reinforcing that pedestrians have the right-of-way, and it's worked like a charm (and I say that as a driver, pedestrian, and cyclist). The key is that they're a car length from the circle proper, so there's room for a vehicle to clear the crosswalk while waiting for a gap in traffic (or to exit the circle but still wait for pedestrians).

Dave

Jim, I can't say enough great things about the roundabouts that have appeared in our neighbourhood at 2 very busy suburban intersections. Where there were 4-way stop signs and long line-ups at peak hours, now things move swiftly and efficiently (and safely). Why do we need to re-invent the wheel. Yes there was some initial learning (they had stop signs at the entrances for a few weeks to ease the confusion for the newly initiated), it just works. Go to Europe people! A driving vacation in the UK some years ago was a joy. Small towns and large. roundabouts and lights used where it made sense. No useless idling when not required. Have a look at the shorter distance pedestrians have to cross, minimizing their exposure. Look at the center garden helping beautify the city! http://maps.google.ca/maps?hl=en&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=900+Greenbank+Rd,+Ottawa,+Ottawa+Division,+Ontario&ll=45.270548,-75.754292&spn=0,359.996518&t=h&z=18&layer=c&cbll=45.270483,-75.754137&panoid=7ZvuFY9YKvatFnblIvMWrQ&cbp=12,294.37,,0,5

John Frewen-Lord

Hi Jim:

Many roundabouts here in the UK have a pedestrian croswalk controlled by traffic lights just before you enter the roundabout. Generally they work very well - except that sometimes the crosswalk lights can be confused with the traffic lights that control entry to the roundabout itself (which many - but far from all of course - roundabouts have). That can catch you out - you see a green light just before the roundabout, and think you can enter without having to yield (which you would normally do where there aren't any lights controlling entry). So, as long as that problem can be addressed - yes, strike another one up for how roundabouts are in general so superior to traffic lights.

Jim Kenzie

Hi Dave:

Preaching to the converted, my man!

But maybe the non-believers out there are tired of hearing ME preach; it's great to get The Message from someone else.

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