Memorial Avenue Roundabout

Memorial Avenue Roundabout

Overview
This project will convert a T- intersection to a roundabout at the corner of Memorial Avenue and Highway 19A. Reconstruction of this intersection will increase public safety, calm traffic, improve services levels and reduce idling. Transport Canada recommends converting signalized intersections to roundabouts wherever appropriate. Their findings, as well as many others, have concluded that countries showing less intersection collisions have implemented roundabouts. Statistics reveal the following picture:

  • 75% reduction in collisions with injuries
  • 90% reduction in fatality collisions
  • 39% reduction in overall collisions
  • At stop signs or traffic lights, the most serious accidents are right-angle, left-turn or head-on collisions. Roundabouts eliminate these types of crashes.

Project Benefits

  • Reduced congestion at the intersection
  • Geometry of the roundabout calms traffic at all times of the day and volume
  • Reduced stop, go and idling is better for the environment
  • Better for drivers of advancing years due to the low consistent speeds, simple decisions, reduced need to judge closing speeds or gaps in fast moving traffic
  • Improved access to waterfront and surrounding businesses
  • Realign and improve the substandard intersection that show high crash rates
  • Increased pedestrian safety
  • Improved pedestrian linkage to the Uptown
  • Improved emergency access
  • Improved transit access

How will the roundabout affect the traffic flow?
Because approaching traffic only has to yield to vehicles already circulating in a roundabout, movement is often without delay. As proven with the roundabout at the Rupert Road the Memorial Avenue intersection, traffic moves through an intersection at a much higher rate than traditional intersection controls.

Are roundabouts safe for pedestrians?
Yes! Many studies have shown that roundabouts reduce a pedestrian's risk of being involved in a severe collision.

  • Traffic speeds are slow enough to allow visual engagement with pedestrians and easy short stopping distances.
  • Traffic in a roundabout comes from one direction rather than two or more, simplifying the pedestrian's visual environment.
  • Crossing distances are shortened and splitter islands offer a place of refuge before crossing an additional lane.
  • Crosswalks are located at least one full car length outside of the roundabout circle. A vehicle can stop for a pedestrian without obstructing through traffic.
  • A vehicle or pedestrian only encounters a single conflict at a time:
  • Approaching the roundabout the vehicle encounters the crosswalk (full attention can be devoted to the pedestrians)
  • Entering the roundabout the vehicle merges with the circulating traffic
  • Leaving the roundabout the vehicle encounters the crosswalk
  • A conventional intersection can have 32 different types and points of conflict - many simultaneously.


Are roundabouts safe for cyclists?
Yes! Cyclists have a variety of approaches, depending on their experience riding in traffic. More experienced cyclists may choose to circulate as a vehicle, merging into the travel lane before the bike lane or shoulder ends. Less experienced cyclists can dismount and use the roundabout like a pedestrian.

Is the cost of constructing a roundabout more than a traditional intersection?
Roundabouts can be less expensive than traffic signals, particularly in the long run. Generally, the initial cost does not differ, but in the long run, roundabouts cost less than lights less due to no maintenance costs. As well, because traffic moves through a roundabout in a very efficient manner, it is possible that streets between roundabouts can operate well with fewer lanes, providing a savings in associated construction costs. The roundabout at Rupert Road and Memorial Avenue is an example of this solution.

Is the roundabout being built out into the ocean?
No. The roundabout does not extend into the ocean and will not interfere with the foreshore. A more natural estuary for Beach Creek has been re-established on the foreshore that will enhance fish access, restore the salmon habitat, cleanse stormwater and increase resiliency to extreme weather events. The Town of Qualicum Beach is working with the provincial and federal governments as part of the required permitting process, to ensure no environmental degradation, and ensure a positive impact on the environment.

How long has the Town been planning this project?
In 2009, the Town of Qualicum Beach adopted the Cycling Plan and in 2013, the Age-Friendly Transportation Plan. A roundabout was rated highly in priorities, due to the significant safety benefits and the high volume of traffic and significant pedestrian activity

The Memorial Avenue and Highway 19A intersection is our highest crash site based on ICBC data. This area was also the site of a multiple pedestrian fatality in recent years, the stop-controlled Memorial configuration provides an extremely low level of service to vehicle users on Memorial attempting to make a turn onto 19A westbound, the intersection contains only a pedestrian warning device (it is not considered a traffic control device by the RCMP), and a traffic light is statistically more dangerous from a bodily injury point of view. Through the Waterfront Master Plan public engagement, this intersection was identified as being the start of the central waterfront, would benefit from traffic calming, and that Highway 19A should not be treated as a highway through this area.

Funding

  • In February 2016, the Town received $600,000 from the federal Gas Tax Fund to support upgrades to the Memorial Avenue corridor.
  • In March 2017, the Town received $1.4 million from Province of British Columbia, Water and Wastewater Fund for Phase 3 of the Memorial Avenue Upgrade.

Project Timeline
Estimated constuction start is Winter 2020, and estimated completion is Spring 2022.

Further Reading

Contact
Bob Weir
bweir@qualicumbeach.com
250.752.6921

Cliamte Leader
Copyright 2020 Town of Qualicum Beach - Login / page #728