Casual commentary about political, cultural and economic issues with a particular interest on the city of Winnipeg by John Dobbin
Thursday, October 18, 2012
More Changes to River Heights Traffic Circles
River Heights Traffic Circles
They never consulted anyone when they went in, ignored research that indicated they were not more safe for cyclists or pedestrians and then they didn't build them to specifications other jurisdictions have said was needed to actually achieve traffic calming.
And now, before winter, the city has indicated they will once again tinker with the design.
East to west approaches will be narrowed even further to stop cars from speeding through at top speed just by hugging the curb over the bike path. What seems lost on the city is that bikes will have to navigate this bump out as well and that puts them into traffic. The north south routes are to be left alone.
The bike lanes are only as good as the road condition and in a lot of cases, it isn't good. Today, the lanes are full of puddles and leaves and not easy to see. They certainly are near invisible at night.
Lines are being painted for pedestrians as well. Good luck to anyone walking through one of these things. Traffic that used to stop at four way stop signs now coast through on all four sides. Most people wait till all the cars have gone through before risking crossing the street.
And let's not forget about buses, fire trucks or other large vehicles. Wouldn't be just like the city to do this work and find that the buses can't make it around the the circles?
Who does the city consult about these things? A traffic circle should only be put in by neighbourhood request and then the city should conduct a traffic study to see if the site warrants it and can handle the physical changes to the corner.
Why does it seem that disaster is looming once again? After two years, the circles have not achieved their aims. And bike traffic on the street remains minimal.
Lastly, how much is this going to cost?
It is hard not to think that the four way stop signs and the occasional traffic cop ticketing speeders might have been cheaper and more effective.