The two-lane roundabout at Jeanne d'Arc and St. Joseph Blvd. opened last week, and the Business Improvement Association (BIA) and the city say it is working fine.
(Photo by Tricia Van der Grient)
"The opening went really well and it's so far so good," said Anita MacDonald, executive director of the Heart of Orléans BIA.
She added that in an informal traffic count conducted this week by former BIA chair Peter Stewart, they saw traffic flow is the same as in an official report from over a year ago. They also say the waiting time for cars to pass through the intersection has diminished from about 90 seconds with a traffic light to 30 with the new roundabout.
"I think the more people get used to it they'll realize it's faster, easier and safer than the intersection was with traffic lights. (…) We haven't received any complaints so far from residents."
Traffic lights were removed and the roundabout opened to one lane on Nov. 16. Once construction was completed it opened to two lanes on Nov. 24.
The BIA had been working on the project for about four years. When the proposal was adopted in February, three east-end councillors voted against the roundabout.
This week Innes ward councillor Rainer Bloess said that while there is still a transition with drivers getting used to entering and exiting the intersection, he is "pleasantly surprised how quickly folks are adapting and how well the traffic is flowing."
"In fact, during the non-peak periods, we have seen no delays and no back ups, and drivers who would normally have to wait at red lights are able to glide along," he added.
When the Orléans Star spoke with residents the day of the opening, some were in favour of the change, while others said they would avoid using it completely.
The roundabout is part of a series of streetscape initiatives to improve the aesthetics of St. Joseph Blvd, including the addition of landscaping and outdoor furniture at two other intersections (St. Joseph and Orléans boulevards and St. Joseph and Place d’Orléans Drive.) MacDonald says the additional streetscaping will begin in the spring.
The total cost of the project is about $2.5 million, and is paid for by federal and provincial infrastructure funds.
How to drive a roundabout
>Watch pavement markings and use the correct lane
>Yield to traffic in the roundabout
>Don't change lanes in the roundabout