Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

Lovely Roundabout

with 8 comments

2014 Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure’s Deputy Minister’s Consulting Engineers Awards, originally uploaded by TranBC.

I found this image on the Ministry’s flickr account. This won an award – not for the design (though it should) but for Construction Management and Supervision Services.

I have often written on this blog about roundabouts – and why they must never be confused with traffic circles. This is Highway 5 and Clearwater Valley Road. I will need to go find out on Google exactly where that is as the MoTI have not provided a map reference.

All the info you need is here as a pdf

Written by Stephen Rees

February 25, 2014 at 3:37 pm

Posted in Transportation

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8 Responses

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  1. It is on the Yellowhead Highway (BC Highway 5), at the main intersection with the town of Clearwater. This was previously an unsignalized intersection, and had a high collision rating. The collisions often involved local traffic tangling with highway traffic. There is also a lot of highway transport truck traffic through there.

    There had been many calls for a traffic signal to be installed, but MoTI said that it was not warranted, and after a consultation process, installed the roundabout this past summer.

    Adam Fitch

    February 25, 2014 at 4:15 pm

  2. Probably worth to mention it is a turbo-roundabout
    …what is somewhat surprising, since you could expect this kind of “elaborated” device to come only in areas where driver are already comfortable with classical roundabouts.

    An important weakness of the turbo-roundabout is, first for pedestrian (the photo is pretty explicit), but even worse is for cyclists : try to want to turn left on bike at this intersection…good luck!

    beside all the above the realization looks pretty neat.


    February 25, 2014 at 10:04 pm

  3. It’s here:

    Google Maps and Street View haven’t been updated yet.

    To make a left turn at a roundabout, one goes around the circle until the desired road is on one’s right and then exits the roundabout onto the desired road no matter what one is in/on. i dealt with roundabouts while on a bicycle frequently while living in Edmonton from 2002 – 2007 and had no trouble with them after the first time (I hadn’t been in a roundabout for years and had forgotten how to use them).


    February 25, 2014 at 10:17 pm

  4. marcerickson,

    On the roundabout you have been on bike, you always stay on the outside edge of the circle and all the things go all right…

    on the turbo roundabout (as pictured above), the cicle lanes are in fact spiralling such as the outside lane exits at the next branch…
    So to do a left turn (from Hi 5), you need to approach the round about on the left lane, cross the outside lane, this to be on the inside circle lane, which will be spiralling out to your desired location…

    Look again carefully at the picture posted by Stephen rees. ask yourslef what is all the fuzz with this horizontal marking and see link I provided which explaining how it work (or may be this video: )

    Ready to bring your kid cycling there?


    February 26, 2014 at 12:14 am

  5. How many cyclists with children are we expecting on a through highway like this one? Check the satellite/aerial view on Google Maps – I wouldn’t expect anyone but the most ardent touring cyclist on this road, no matter how cyclist-friendly this intersection is. It is probably sufficient to put up a sign for cyclists instructing them to take left lane if they are comfortable with that, or use the crosswalks for left turn.

    Jarek Piórkowski

    February 26, 2014 at 9:12 am

  6. The best modern roundabout design for cyclists provides two choices. The more confident cyclist should merge with through traffic and circulate like a motorist. This is made easier by the low-speed operational environment of the modern roundabout, which should not exceed 20 mph (15 kph). and
    The less confident cyclist should be provided a ramp to exit the street and use a shared use path around the roundabout. Such paths are at least ten feet wide (4 m) and cyclist operate at low speeds, crossing at the pedestrian crossings. Sometimes space constraints, as with other intersection types, limit ideal design. In other countries, separate cycle tracks are common and here’s a video of how they work at modern roundabouts .


    February 26, 2014 at 10:34 am

  7. Better for cyclists would be to provide a clear cyclists-only path all the way through like the Dutch do. Mixing modes is bad all around, regardless of cars and bicycles or bicycles and pedestrians, not sure why we keep trying to do in North America.

    Corey Burger

    February 26, 2014 at 9:16 pm

  8. in 2011 the BC Ministry of Transportation installed a new interchange on the Pat Bay Highway in North Saanich, north of Victoria, to provide better access to Victoria International Airport. This interchange involved 3 roundabouts and no traffic signals.

    Because roundabouts were a new idea in the region, MOTI put on a public education campaign. Since I moved away from Victoria, I have often wondered how it all worked out, and is it performing as hoped.

    Adam Fitch

    July 6, 2014 at 5:40 pm

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