Friday, 4 November 2011

Round-About on Homer Watson

Twice yesterday I needed to use Homer Watson at times when students were either going to school or heading home. Upon cresting the hill I could see two police cruisers parked on the median with radar. The officers were enforcing the new speed limit of 50 km approaching the roundabout at Block Line Rd. They had several cars stopped in the left lane thus reducing traffic to the right lane only. At the entrance to the roundabout was another officer with radar as well. This office was enforcing the 30 km limit in the roundabout. The officer had one car stopped in the middle of the roundabout restricting the flow through of traffic. Also at the exit of the roundabout was a crossing guard who was stopping all vehicles to allow the students to cross. The crossing guard was only assisting students across Homer Watson not Block Line so there were vehicles stopped in the roundabout to allow those students to cross without a guard. As I proceeded out of the roundabout there were two more cruisers, on the median with radar stopping vehicles approaching from the Ottawa St. direction.

I can only imagine the cost of all these officers at this roundabout each day and their presence there was causing drivers to slow, stop and look at them so much so that the confusion in the roundabout was a greater safety issue for the students. In addition to this the crossing guards are now acting as stop lights and vehicles exiting the roundabout are stopped while other vehicles are continuing to circle, changing lanes without signaling to avoid hitting the stopped vehicles. 

This roundabout is now more dangerous than ever before.

I happen to be in favor of roundabouts but only when they are designed properly.  In England and Europe the roundabouts are designed with consideration of both vehicle and pedestrian ease of use and safety. However, the architects of all the roundabouts in the Waterloo Region created their design with only one objective in mind - take out the stop lights, thus improving the flow of traffic. At no time did they consider ease of use or vehicle safety and it never even entered their head that anyone would want to walk across a roundabout.

Unfortunately for the taxpayers of the Region we must now fight to correct a flawed design and pay for the correction.

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