But this is the intersection of Jeanne d’Arc and St. Joseph in Orléans, a suburb of Ottawa, as it is now; the roundabout officially opened just this past Wednesday, although it has been in partial operation for a little over a week.
We reported on this project back in the summer, as it was going through the final approval process.
Despite efforts to educate the public to the up-coming change to the traffic environment, there was some opposition from people who are either resistant to change, can’t see beyond their own noses, or - like too many of our politicians - are simply fact-resistant.
Everywhere they are introduced, roundabouts reduce crashes by 50 to 90 percent. The crashes that remain are typically slow-speed side-swipes, as opposed to the vastly more dangerous head-ons, Tee-bones, or whiplash-causing rear-end collisions.
Yesterday, extra police were on duty to make sure people ‘got’ the concept. One woman (who clearly didn't get it) stopped at the entrance of the roundabout, her window rolled down, hollering at anyone who would listen, “This is the stupidest idea ever!”
The officer just said, ”Shut up and keep on driving!”
Because that is the point - everyone keeps on driving.
I saw cars of all sizes, trucks of all sizes, even a bicycle or two, cruising around with no problems.
I even have some video, if I could figure out how to get it on here.
Pedestrians? Not a problem. I myself walked across two legs of the roundabout - the drivers even stopped for me. They were already slowing down for the roundabout, remember, so it was little skin off their noses to come to a complete stop.
This photo (right) shows the next intersection to the north - Jeanne d’Arc and Grey Nuns Drive. Of course, it still has a plethora of stoplights. It looks so - well, so STUPID, after the roundabout.
Anita MacDonald of the Heart of Orléans Business Improvement Association which was a major proponent of the roundabout, says that the consulting engineers (Ourston Roundabout Engineering, whose corporate Head Office is in Madison Wisconsin; the Orléans project was managed out of the Canadian office in Richmond Hill) told her this is the biggest roundabout in Ontario (as measured both in size and traffic capacity) - at least until the one in London gets built in a year or so.
“It’s working very well so far,” she says. “No problems at all!”
BTW if you want more information on how roundabouts work - and to see a very cool graphic showing how to convert an old-style intersection into a proper roundabout - visit the Ourston web site.
Amazingly (to me, anyway) it took just over four months to create this stroke of genius out this abomination - see below:
Yes, that’s a shot of this exact same intersection last July, taken from the same angle as the shot at the top of this blog. It was a typical suburban intersection of the sort that creates traffic chaos and danger for all road users, not to mention wastes huge amounts of money operating all those lights, and causes so much additional pollution.
Why do we have ANY of these left?
Waterloo Region has figured it out.
London is about to get on board.
What’s wrong with the rest of the municipalities in this province - in this COUNTRY??
Orléans has shown you how it’s done.
What excuse can the rest of you have?
Toronto Mayor-elect Ford, you should take the ill-advised bike lane budget of your car-hating predecessor and apply it to a traffic enhancement system that will benefit ALL road users, no matter how many wheels their vehicles may have.