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Homer Watson and Ottawa Three Lane Roundabouts
#1
Homer Watson and Ottawa Three Lane Roundabout


[Image: db7262ee47b7a5bc63900ea74112-500x329_zpsapmftepa.jpeg]
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#2
Three lane roundabout approved for Homer Watson and Ottawa
January 21, 2015 | Arlene Dowell | 570 News | Link

Quote:It is dubbed one of the most dangerous intersections in the Region and a roundabout is on the way in homes of improving conditions on Homer Watson Boulevard and Ottawa.

Regional Council has approved the installation of a three lane roundabout at the intersection of Ottawa St S at Homer Watson Blvd in Kitchener. It is expected to be complete in 2016.

Regional Councillor Sean Strickland says some surrounding property will be affected as they will need to expropriate some land.

Strickland says the area is not vehicle or pedestrian friendly and the roundabout will improve safety and will get traffic moving.
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#3
All I can say is if you thought the other roundabouts were bad, this one will be a complete nightmare for both cars and pedestrians. No way on earth if I was walking would I ever cross it and being a driver , when it comes , I won't go anywhere near it for my own safety
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#4
I think we'll see an improvement in traffic flow in this area for a little while.

Does anyone know if concept 3 (as pictured) is the one they're going ahead with?

Roundabouts are easy to drive through, if people are afraid of roundabouts they should probably never make any left turns, they are way more dangerous.
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#5
I agree that as a pedestrian and cyclist, I would never want to go through those roundabouts. It's difficult enough getting cars to stop to let you cross on the Ira Needles roundabouts, so I can't imaging what challenges a three lane one will cause.
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#6
I grew up in a country where roundabouts are common. In my experience they work best for low volume intersections and they quickly become a nightmare for busy ones. I've waited for over 5 minutes at rush hour when traveling westbound on Erb St at Ira Needles because northbound traffic on Ira Needles was relentless.
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#7
First we had the 3 lane roundabout at Homer and Blockline. Next we have the Homer Watson and Ottawa roundabouts. 

It is pretty clear to me the Region is warming us up to the Guinness world record of roundabouts at the Delta in Cambridge. See below (yes this is a joke).
[Image: magic_roundabout-1.jpg]
_____________________________________
I used to be the mayor of sim city. I know what I am talking about.
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#8
Gonna be honest here, and I'm a huge supporter of roundabouts, but this might have been a bad decision.
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#9
(01-22-2015, 01:39 AM)BuildingScout Wrote: In my experience they work best for low volume intersections and they quickly become a nightmare for busy ones.

I think you're right on with this. They make complete sense where traffic is light, and a lot less at busiest intersections.

As others have mentioned, they are bad for people on foot. When there's low volume, it's not an issue, but I think that at an intersection like this walking will be challenging to say the least.
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#10
Maybe they should put signs up prior to entering the roundabout reminding drivers to watch for pedestrians and cyclists.

In my experience roundabouts would improve far more if people would signal their exits and slowdown inside the roundabout. The signalling issue is something the police should really crackdown hard on one weekend, handing out a billion warnings, and then enforcing aggressively for awhile after that to get people to start doing it. The speed is also an issue; people are simultaneously reluctant to claim space in a roundabout, and then once they're in it, pour on the gas to get out. Slower speeds would make it easier for other drivers to get into the roundabout and also make it safer for pedestrians and cyclists. Maybe they need to install speed bumps on the exits to the roundabouts.
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#11
Roundabouts have been for about the last fifteen years the fashionable trend among urban planners. Therefore they are dropped willy-nilly anywhere and everywhere whether they make sense or not.
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#12
(01-22-2015, 08:35 AM)jamincan Wrote: Maybe they should put signs up prior to entering the roundabout reminding drivers to watch for pedestrians and cyclists. ... Maybe they need to install speed bumps on the exits to the roundabouts.

Signs don't really do much to affect behavior. The biggest influence is the design - there is a world of difference between the highway-offramp-style roundabouts the Region is building, and the Dutch style that have narrower lanes, sharper turns into and out of the roundabout, shorter crossing distances for pedestrians, etc.
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#13
We just need to include roundabout test in Driver License now... or is it already included?
I imagine many people would fail badly...ha

I support roundabouts, but 3-lane may be too crazy for KW people
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#14
(01-22-2015, 08:39 AM)BuildingScout Wrote: Roundabouts have been for about the last fifteen years the fashionable trend among urban planners. Therefore they are dropped willy-nilly anywhere and everywhere whether they make sense or not.
That's more of a civil engineering/road design concern than an urban planning one.

(01-22-2015, 10:14 AM)jerryhung Wrote: We just need to include roundabout test in Driver License now... or is it already included?
I imagine many people would fail badly...ha

I support roundabouts, but 3-lane may be too crazy for KW people

Roundabouts are part of the driver training curriculum (both in class and the road test portion). I'm unsure as to whether its been incorporated into the licensing test itself. It probably wouldn't hurt, especially in Waterloo Region. 
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#15
(01-22-2015, 10:06 AM)mpd618 Wrote:
(01-22-2015, 08:35 AM)jamincan Wrote: Maybe they should put signs up prior to entering the roundabout reminding drivers to watch for pedestrians and cyclists. ... Maybe they need to install speed bumps on the exits to the roundabouts.

Signs don't really do much to affect behavior. The biggest influence is the design - there is a world of difference between the highway-offramp-style roundabouts the Region is building, and the Dutch style that have narrower lanes, sharper turns into and out of the roundabout, shorter crossing distances for pedestrians, etc.

In Europe large roundabouts and/or roundabouts that support heavy traffic have one more distinguishing feature: Overpasses/underpasses for pedestrians and cyclists. 

Yes this costs more. A lot more. Evidently Europeans value human life a lot more than do our local planners and politicians.
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