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Quinte West looking for Belleville’s support for roundabout


By Tyler Renaud [1]

Quinte West council is ready to move forward with an environmentally-friendly roundabout at the intersection of Wallbridge-Loyalist Road and Hamilton Road. But Belleville city council may prove to be a stumbling block.

While traffic lights may be more traditional and familiar, Quinte West’s Chris Angelo, director of public works and environmental services, said Quinte West council believes there are more benefits with roundabouts.

Council “originally considered traffic signals at that intersection of Hamilton and Wallbridge-Loyalist Road but upon further investigation it was suggested to our council that a roundabout would be better in terms of traffic flow and being more environmentally friendly at that intersection,” said Angelo.

But Belleville director of engineering and development services Rod Bovay was wary.

“It’s not part of the city’s draft capital budget which is being discussed by council (Thursday),” he said. “A councillor could raise the issue (Thursday) at the budget meeting.”

The Ontario Ministry of Transportation says roundabouts reduce the potential of major vehicle collisions. They eliminate vehicles crossing each other’s path as with traffic lights, the ministry’s website states. They also eliminate the delays and idling at stop-and-go traffic lights. A roundabout results in a higher number of vehicles passing through the intersection at any given time because the vehicles yield into the flow of traffic, according to the ministry.

Quinte West [2] council has set aside $250,000 for the proposed project and is waiting for an equal contribution from Belleville [3] council.

The shared financing is part of an overall agreement for the boundary roads, Angelo said.

“Wallbridge-Loyalist is a shared road called a boundary road, shared on a 50-50 basis. So, the boundary between Belleville and Quinte West is right down the centre line of the road. Under the boundary road agreement we have with the city of Belleville that says  Belleville is responsible  for that section of roadway in terms of maintenance and its operation. However, in terms of capital expenditures anything over a $1,000 needs a resolution or support from both municipal councils,” he said.

This would not be the first time both municipalities have co-ordinated efforts to construct traffic utilities together. In 2011, the discussion began on how to make the intersection of Wallbridge-Loyalist road and Moira Street West safer. The traffic lights were not finished until 2012 because the project was not proposed until after the capital budget process, according to Chris Angelo.

The traffic lights were completed on Wallbridge-Loyalist Road in early 2012. The Ministry of Transportation provided QNetNews with a chart with the total number of collisions for the intersection and along each road. There was a total of 84 collisions related to the intersection.

Total collisions Reported by OPP Quinte West Detachment (3U00) along  selected Roadway by Year
 
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2009-2014 Total MVCs
Wallbridge Loyalist Road
24
17
22
15
10
16
104
Hamilton Road
18
26
29
30
35
22
160
Total Intersection-related MVCs Reported by OPP Quinte West Detachment (3U00) along selected Roadway by Year
 
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2009-2014 Total MVCs
Wallbridge Loyalist Road
10
7
13
5
2
7
44
Hamilton Road
3
4
9
10
7
7
40

*MVC-Motor Vehicle Collision

A roundabout is the modern spin on traffic circles that were used in the U.S and North America in the early 20th century but eventually faded from public use due to inconveniences. Europe and Australia have successfully embraced roundabouts because of the advantages they offer over traffic circles and even traffic lights. Roundabouts operate with a “yield at entry” rule which prompts approaching vehicles to allow the already circulating vehicles to safely pass before entering the roundabout. Versus, traffic circles which dictated that vehicles already traveling in the circle to yield to allow more vehicles entry into the traffic circles; causing traffic congestion when they experience higher volume of vehicles.

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