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Roads: Roundabouts

BMO

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I've been wondering why roundabouts are not used in Torontos smaller streets, or even in the more obvious places like the 905 area. I was wondering what everyone's point of views on this topic were, for instance, I live in Thornhill near Clark, where a proposed subway station for hte Yonge line is, and Clarck which is no longer than maybe 3 or 4 km's has like 20 stop lights 5 of which are within 1 whole kilometer, thise road is not even ever that busy not even during rush hour, so I personally tihnk this road would be a good candidate for roundabouts so that traffic keeps moving.

Roundabout.JPG


diagram2.jpg


334_roundabout1.jpg
 
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dunkalunk

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I live in Kitchener. We began implementing roundabouts a few years ago and they are very hit or miss. They do help to streamline traffic flow and help put less stress on our thoroughfares, however they can be potentially hazardous to pedestrians and notably cyclists if the drivers who use them have no idea what they are looking for. People are so used to having signs to tell them what to do, that when they come to a roundabout, they are unable to deal with the human interaction required to safely manoeuver through them.

also, your image links are broken.
 

BMO

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yea that's true, but honestly i find it hard to believe that here in Toronto we're not smart enough to figure out how to drive through rotundas, when most of the world uses rotundas widely with the exception of the US and Canada I believe, who don't use them very much, correct me if i am wrong. Also yes cyclists and pedestrians would be at risk, but in places like suburbia and streets that don't see very much traffic would not generally have very many pedestrians, and also i believe that there are signs when drivers enter a rotunda that tel them to yield for cars and pedestrians, correct me if i am wrong. And once again i elieve rotundas should only be used for only streets that are not very busy, for instance it would be stupid to put a rotunda at yonge and steeles or yonge and dundas, but for the small sidestreets that have lights turn red when no one is going through and you have to wait there for 2 mins until the light changes, i think those small streets would be perfect candidates for rotundas.
 

interchange42

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Uh, rotundas? Are you sure anyone else uses that term to describe roundabouts? If they do, it's simply a mistake. The old term was traffic circle back before right-of-way was given to traffic already inside the circle. Rotundas are round rooms that are typically domed.

Modern roundabouts are starting to be built in Toronto by the way, but there sure aren't many of them. I can think of one at Windermere and Coe Hill.

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kEiThZ

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What surprises me is the lack of yield signs in Ontario. There is no need for stop signs everywhere. Yield signs are just as useful at low traffic intersections. The stop signs are simply and excuse for a cop to nail somebody for a rolling stop.

As for roundabouts....I agree that they are appropriate for most low traffic intersections. However, we could never implement them for any major avenue in Toronto. I just don't think most drivers here would be able to adjust to them. But for our small streets, they are certainly preferable to 4 way stops.
 

jks

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The problem with roundabouts in Toronto is that there just isn't enough room for them. All existing intersections were built to regular specifications. To change any intersection to a roundabout would be very difficult with property acquisition et al. I do think they are a good idea in small residential streets and should definitely be used in new subdivisions.
 

GraphicMatt

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I drove through one of the new (boring as hell) subdivisions in Burlington a few weeks back -- The Orchard, I think -- and they used roundabouts instead of four-way stops at many of the intersections. It was pretty nice -- way better than most subdivisions where you're stopping every 10 seconds at stop signs.

They're really hostile to pedestrians in high-traffic areas, though.
 

BMO

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Uh, rotundas? Are you sure anyone else uses that term to describe roundabouts? If they do, it's simply a mistake. The old term was traffic circle back before right-of-way was given to traffic already inside the circle. Rotundas are round rooms that are typically domed.

Modern roundabouts are starting to be built in Toronto by the way, but there sure aren't many of them. I can think of one at Windermere and Coe Hill.

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soryr i am of spanish descent and whenever i speak with ppl i tend to use rotunda as a word for roundabout, everyone i know whether they be canadian or of other decents use rotunda as well, but i will from now on use roundabout on urbantoronto :)
 

wyliepoon

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I've been wondering why roundabouts are not used in Torontos smaller streets, or even in the more obvious places like the 905 area.

York Blvd in Richmond Hill (Leslie and Hwy 7) has a pair of roundabouts. They are in a pretty obvious spot, a 'palatial' driveway leading up to a massive bubble tea shop.

Google Maps Link
 

MisterF

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They're really hostile to pedestrians in high-traffic areas, though.
"Studies in Europe indicate that, on average, converting conventional intersections to roundabouts can reduce pedestrian crashes by about 75 percent.14,15 Single-lane roundabouts, in particular, have been reported to involve substantially lower pedestrian crash rates than comparable intersections with traffic signals.16"

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

"The authors found that the roundabout installations studied provided equal or better pedestrian safety than their conventional intersection counterparts. They also concluded that single lane roundabouts were much safer than two-lane configurations."

A McElhanney Consulting Services Ltd, citing one of the same studies as the IIHS.

Those are just the first two links I found from a Google search. Basically 2 lane roundabouts are more dangerous than single lane roundabouts, but roundabouts as a whole are just as safe or safer than signalized intersections. There seems to be a belief that roundabouts are less safe in downtown locations with lots of pedestrians, but there's not a lot of research on that topic.
 

BMO

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interchange42

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That's Swindon, England's Magic Roundabout that Whoaccio posted above. It's one of my little goals to drive that someday. Thanks for posting that Who!

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khris

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What surprises me is the lack of yield signs in Ontario. There is no need for stop signs everywhere. Yield signs are just as useful at low traffic intersections. The stop signs are simply and excuse for a cop to nail somebody for a rolling stop.

As for roundabouts....I agree that they are appropriate for most low traffic intersections. However, we could never implement them for any major avenue in Toronto. I just don't think most drivers here would be able to adjust to them. But for our small streets, they are certainly preferable to 4 way stops.

People in the GTA stop at yields, so that won't really matter. The reason why most seem to stop at yield signs is because people drive too close together.

I find rotaries very confusing. There is one in Halifax, NS that is just nuts. Armdale Rotary I believe it's called, and I found it very stressful to drive through.
 

lead82

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Roundabouts or rotaries can work on small streets, and are especially effective in quiet suburban streets where traffic is low. In North York, near Bathurst & Sheppard there are 2 interesting little roundabouts on a small street (can't recall name, SW quadrant of Bath & Shep) that has this instead of all way stop signs. It works well and does not require much land acquisition.

As for Clark, that is probably the most over regulated streets in GTA. 4km and over 15 traffic lights, none of which are timed with each other, especially around Bathurst or Dufferin. This street has low traffic, but every little shopping plaza gets 2, that's right, you read correctly, 2 traffic lights. Every school gets one too, as well as community centres and almost every single road crossing. It would be a nice road to drive on if it wasn't for all the lights.

Roundabouts wouldn't fix Clark. Clark just needs to remove like 5-8 traffic lights and just force the other streets to STOP for Clark traffic.
 

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