Frequently Asked Questions on the New Roundabout Stonehaven Drive and Bridgestone/Steeple Chase Drive
Click the above photos to see a larger version of the design plans for the roundabout for at Stonehaven and Steeplechase.
Q1. Why was a roundabout selected for this location?
This traffic solution is being implemented to make travel along Stonehaven both more efficient and safer. Because of the nature of the intersection and vehicle volume coming from all sides, a roundabout is the best alternative to keep traffic flowing smoothly in and out of the community. Roundabouts also serve as a speed moderator as vehicles must slow down to enter. With the frustrations that residents experience at other locations along Stonehaven, motorists have a tendency to try to make up for lost time when they leave a stop sign or traffic light while a roundabout facilitates movement but at a controlled speed.
Q2. What about pedestrian safety?
With regards to pedestrian safety, a roundabout is the safest alternative to the current layout at this intersection. Of note, with the roundabout, pedestrians who want to cross only have to look in one direction to cross from the edge of curb to the splitter island (median that separates the two directions of traffic on the approaches to roundabouts). Once they are on the splitter island and about to cross to reach the other side of the road, they look in the other direction. Essentially, pedestrians have to cross a shorter distance and focus only on one direction at a time. Today at the multi-way stop, pedestrians have to be cognisant of all the directions where vehicles may be approaching the intersection. The same can be said about drivers, as they only have to see pedestrians on the side of their lane when pulling up to a roundabout, rather than notice pedestrians at all four directions of an intersection. We are also pleased to report that the adult school crossing guards will remain after the roundabout is in place.
Q3.The crosswalk seems very close to the roundabout itself. Wouldn’t it be safer for it to be moved farther away from the roundabout?
The location of the crosswalk is about 7 m from the point where vehicles enter into the circulatory roadway. This is the standard location for crosswalks to be positioned at roundabouts. It allows for one vehicle to be waiting to enter the roundabout and not block the crosswalk. This location is also preferred because it separates the drivers’ tasks of looking for pedestrians and looking for a gap in traffic before entering the roundabout. We would not want to move it further away from the roundabout as speeds for vehicles entering and exiting are higher as you move away from the roundabout.
Q4. There is a school just west of the roundabout. How will it be affected by the roundabout?
Concerns regarding the St. James Elementary school near the roundabout are being addressed through this roundabout project. When vehicle traffic exits the roundabout going westbound (towards the school), the road will open up into two lanes in front of the school. This will allow vehicle traffic from the school to enter off of and onto Stonehaven more smoothly. If you are travelling westbound down to Bridlewood drive, you will have one lane as a straight through and the other lane as a straight through or a right turn onto Bridlewood drive.
Q5.What is the cost of this roundabout compared to a set of traffic lights?
The estimated cost to construct the roundabout is $1.2 million. The cost to install a traffic signal can range from $150,000 (no roadway modifications, only traffic signal) to anywhere from $350,000 to couple of million dollars if roadway modifications are required (costs depend on the extent of left and right-turn lane, cycling and pedestrian requirements). In general, for similar type projects, the cost to install each individual left or right turn lane is in the $150,000.00 to $200,000.00 range. The lane requirements for a traffic signal at this intersection would be left-turn lanes for all approaches, a right turn lane for the southbound to westbound movement and the westbound to northbound movement and a bicycle lane for all approaches. This translates into an estimated cost in the $1 million range. Also, it is important to note that there are no yearly operating and maintenance costs at roundabouts compared to at traffic signals, the costs of which are over $10,000.00 per year. Therefore the roundabout was not just the safest option but also the most fiscally responsible.
Q6. What other construction will be taking place in the area?
Eagleson Road from Hazeldean to Cope will be the largest resurfacing project in the city this year. Eagleson will also be widen from Cope to Fernbank removing the current bottleneck. Stonehaven and Bridle Path will get new traffic signals and left turn lanes. If you would like additional information on the work taking place from Steeplechase to Eagleson on Stonehaven including intersection improvements and Michael Cowpland, please visit our website at http://councillorallanhubley.ca/?page_id=1189.
Q7. Where can I find more information on roundabouts from the City of Ottawa?
If you would like more information on roundabouts please visit the City of Ottawa webpage at http://www.ottawa.ca/en/roads_trans/driving/traffic/roundabout/index.html