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Ottawa has over 50 traffic roundabouts, with more on the way

The roundabout at St. Joseph Boulevard and Jean D'Arc in Orleans. (Peter Szperling/CTV News Ottawa) The roundabout at St. Joseph Boulevard and Jean D'Arc in Orleans. (Peter Szperling/CTV News Ottawa)

Ottawa motorists are driving in circles at more locations across the city.

Not too long ago, Ottawa only had a handful of traffic roundabouts. Now, there are over 50, with even more being built.

The roundabout at Stonehaven and Steeple Chase Drives in the Bridlewood neighbourhood of Kanata was a welcome addition for Karen Bryson.

"I think it’s great, I think it really moves traffic quite well," she tells CTV News Ottawa.

Bryson has lived in the area for 20 years; and, admits it took drivers a bit of getting used to.

"It was definitely yes, you had to really change your way of thinking, and watching a little bit more for pedestrians," she says, adding its helped with traffic.

“Definitely, because you don’t have all of the back-up, especially when school starts in the morning."

Ottawa coun. Allan Hubley says the roundabout was the first for the area.

"It was a huge improvement for the traffic flow; for both speed, it controls the speed, but also allows the volume to move through quite quickly."

Hubley says it replaced stop signs.

"We have a nearby seniors home, just a few metres away from us; and a Junior Kindergarten to Grade 6 school a few metres the other way," said Hubley. "So, I didn’t really want to get a traffic light, where we could get speeds of up to 80 km/h or more in the area - a roundabout was the perfect solution for us."

Ottawa has turned to using more roundabouts.

"They’re safer, in the sense that you don’t get t-boned accidents here, which are the ones that usually lead to fatalities or serious injury," says Hubley. "It makes it a lot safer for pedestrians to go across a roundabout; you only have to look one way at a time."

According to Phil Landry, Director, Traffic Services with the City of Ottawa, there are currently more than 50 roundabouts located across the city, with three new roundabouts in the planning stages.

"Roundabouts have emerged as an alternative method to traditional traffic control signals or all-way stops, as they are designed to maximize safety, manage traffic flow more effectively and provide environmental benefits," said Landry in a statement to CTV News Ottawa.

"The design of the roundabouts contribute to safety performance by slowing down traffic as vehicles enter the roundabout and are often used as a gateway feature when entering a neighbourhood or commercial development area. Additionally, by reducing vehicle idling time and stop, roundabouts help reduce vehicle emissions and fuel consumption."

The roundabout at St. Joseph Blvd. and Jeane D’Arc Blvd in Orleans sees “thousands” of cars per day, according to area Councillor Laura Dudas.

"It’s actually one of the oldest roundabouts in the city of Ottawa; and, it is very unique in that it is actually one of the highest traffic flows in all of North America at roundabout,” she says.

To navigate one, Hubley says, "The rules are, whoever is in the roundabout has the right of way; so, cars coming in have to wait until they have an opportunity to merge in."

For additional tips, the city of Ottawa has a page called, "How to use a roundabout." Top Stories

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