More roundabout planning underway in Charlottetown

Dave Stewart
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One possible future roundabout location is at St. Peter's Road by Vogue Optical.

Preliminary work continues in Charlottetown on possible locations for two more roundabouts.

The city has engineers looking at the Charlottetown Airport intersection (Sherwood Road-Brackley Point Road) and is in talks to purchase land for a roundabout at the Vogue Optical intersection.

Coun. Terry Bernard, chair of public works, said a roundabout cannot be constructed at the airport where the intersection is now located.

That's because of the hill on the Sherwood Road.

"If they move the intersection more towards the airport it's possible a roundabout can work,'' Bernard said.

Regardless of what the engineers come back with, the city has identified the airport intersection as one where a change has to be made.

If a roundabout isn't the answer then it is likely it will become a signalized intersection.

Meanwhile, a decision on transforming the Vogue Optical intersection into a roundabout has essentially already been made.

The city's consultant recommended earlier this year that intersection should be transformed into a roundabout. The next step is actually purchasing the necessary land from adjacent businesses.

That's where the issue is now.

"We are in talks with the landowners,'' Bernard said. "Purchase hasn't been completed yet but we're moving ahead on the purchasing.''

Once that is finalized, the city will move on to the design stage.

What isn't in place is funding.

"We want to get the land purchased (and) we want to get the design done and be ready, shovel ready so when the funding comes through we're ready to go and there are no delays.''

The Vogue Optical intersection is currently fed by five lanes of traffic.

As for when work can actually start, Bernard said it could be 2012 or 2013.

There are other more pressing priorities, such as separating the combined sewage system. The city is spending $40,000 to take UPEI off the combined system but that is merely a band-aid solution designed to take some stress off the system while the funding is put in place.

The most likely intersection to receive attention after Vogue Optical is the intersection known as 'Ken's Korner' (now a Needs store).

The city likes roundabouts because they move traffic much faster than a signalized intersection does and the absence of lights and technology means they require much less constant maintenance.

Organizations: Charlottetown Airport

Geographic location: Charlottetown, Sherwood Road, Brackley Point Road

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Recent comments

  • ScottRAB
    November 27, 2011 - 13:33

    Modern roundabouts are the safest form of intersection in the world. Visit for safety facts. As for cost, the first cost of any two choices is a poor way to compare. Life-cycle cost is the best (present value of future costs, a.k.a. net present value). When comparing modern roundabouts to signals for a 20-year life cycle (the standard period), modern roundabouts usually cost us much less. Costs to compare include: first cost (design/land/construction), operation and maintenance (electricity, re-striping, etc.), crash reduction, daily delay (what’s your time worth?), daily fuel consumption, pollution (generated), area insurance rates (this costs more where it is less safe to drive). Each of these things, and others, can be estimated for any two choices and everyone near or using the project area will pay some portion of all of these costs.

  • SG
    November 24, 2011 - 19:41

    PLEASE Do Not Put a Roundabout on Sherwood Rd across from the AirPort Entrance! Put in traffic lights. It's confusing enought now! This should be a Priority before someone gets Killed! I came very close this summer due to an accident that took place on the Highway. It was total confusion cars trying to turn left and right off Sherwood Rd. onto the highway along with those trying to get across the Highway to enter the Airport Entrance! A Car involved in the accident across from the Sherwood Rd. was half on the highway and the side of the road and Not a Sign of Police or RCMP. The number of Tractor Trailers whizzing by on the Higway was Unbelievable and Unending at 4:40 PM How someone wasn't killed I don't know! IF THERE WAS EVER a place NEEDING Signal Lights THAT'S IT! The Sooner the Better! I couldn't believe such a Dangerous, Busy, Intersection with such a volume of Tracker Trailers using that road DIDN'T have ANY Traffic Lights!!!

    • Ian
      November 24, 2011 - 22:18

      This is a 50km/h zone, so the fault isn't the intersection, its the lack of police presence. If people cant navigate in a zone like that they should stay home or take a driving course

  • Donnie
    November 24, 2011 - 19:01

    Well, now that we've proven we don't know how to negotiate lanes, yield signs, yielding to emergency vehicles, four way stops, or roundabouts, what else does the Department of Highways have to throw at us?

  • pat
    November 24, 2011 - 18:52

    Well they should look at that peter pan intersection, that is about the worst "fixed" intersection on the island!!

  • a good second step
    November 24, 2011 - 18:08

    The Belvedere - St Peters - Brackley Point intersection is horrible and long overdue for a modern roundabout. The city should buy the Vogue Optical and Esso properties outright as they are both impacting proper construction of such an intersection. Wilsons owns the Esso and I'm sure they could be encouraged to build elsewhere. Wayne Gray doesn't need to have Vogue where it is - I'm sure if this business was located in a more accessible location then business would be stronger too. The city needs to get this intersection upgraded and IT MUST BE DONE RIGHT. Trying to fit a roundabout in around existing buildings is not the way to go. Buy the Esso & Vogue and remove the buildings and build this right as it is going to have to last 100 years - much like Columbus Circle in NYC.

  • Ian
    November 24, 2011 - 14:55

    I think its time for the city to seek different engineers. A roundabout by the airport? Dont make me laugh. Do you people at city hall even drive through town, or maybe you do but have no idea how to drive? What a waste of time and cash when the headlines are all over the pollution in the harbour. Mr Bernard please step down and get someone in there who has a clue. I'm sick of seeing your face attached to these ideas. Roundabouts are great but the city is going nuts over them now it seems when they aren't needed at all

  • Roundabouts are way better than lights
    November 24, 2011 - 14:46

    Roundabouts save gas (less idle time), time (not sitting at a red light with no one is going through the other way), electricity (no street lights to maintain), brakes and pads (not slamming on breaks when lights turn red), they are safer (impossible to t-bone someone at high speeds) and more aesthetically pleasing. Nuff said.

  • sewage
    November 24, 2011 - 14:40

    my number 1 priority for capital spending is to fix the storm drain system.... with a roundabout!

  • Mell
    November 24, 2011 - 14:39

    Well, I guess if our federal, provincial, and local governments can go around in circles and not accomplish much, they can try to get drivers to go around in circles to hopefully accomplish maneuvering the roadways. Still, I do not think they (meaning roundabouts-I know the politicians don't) don't work better than traffic lights with advance green, etc.

  • Ron Howard
    November 24, 2011 - 14:35

    Sure, there are islanders who can't drive, since the only thing city police are interested in is speeding, forget everything else. However, I think islanders are doing a great job with traffic circles, for the most part. Some think you can just enter the circle no matter what's happening in it, but I honestly have not seen many people not grasping the concept. Give credit where it's due. Islanders may have some terrible driving habits, but from what I can see, the basic concept of a traffic circle isn't part of this. If police would just enforce some of the million other rules of the road, Charlottetown might not be a bad place to drive.

  • Ron Howard
    November 24, 2011 - 14:30

    Let's hope they don't decide to put shrubbery in the middle of it, obstructing everyone's view, like they did on the Riverside Dr. Who's responsible for that one? There is likely an intersection no more deserving of a traffic circle than the one mentioned in this article. I find the appeal to "keep our island charm" argument hilarious, as if making traffic flow better has suddenly made Sherwood into Detroit. The circles are working. I know change is an impossible concept for some to embrace, but rest assured, this is one long overdue change. I hope they put traffic lights on the North River Rd, Kirkwood Dr intersection someday too.

    • ScottRAB
      November 27, 2011 - 13:30

      Ron H, You should not be looking at the far side of a modern roundabout when entering. You should be watching for pedestrians and then motorists approaching from the left. What's happening on the far side of a modern roundabout is not relevant, that's why landscaping is the standard recommended practice.

  • Colin
    November 24, 2011 - 14:25

    I lived a lot of places in Canada and this is the only province I have been in that there are traffic lights at ever intersection of a so called bypass. Why haven't they been built properly with on/off ramps and merge lanes etc... to keep the flow of traffic going more smotthly. The round abouts are great only if people here knew how to drive!!!!

  • no more
    November 24, 2011 - 14:15

    We do not need to have more roundabouts, the islanders need to learn how too drive.

  • Quiet Observer
    November 24, 2011 - 13:13

    I would have a thought a logical corner would have been Mt. Edward Road and Belvedere Avenue. Traffic moves quickly through the roundabout at mt. Edward and Allen, only to sit and wait when they get up the road to the Mt. Edward/Belvedere intersection. This patchwork approach doesn't make sense. Work with a logical system where one feeds off the other.

    • yea agreed
      November 24, 2011 - 14:49

      Yea, that or at least a re-timing of the lights at Mt Ed and Belv. At rush hour, the traffic travelling west on Belvedere is always backed up half way to Vogue Optical; it takes 15 minutes to get through the one set of lights.

    November 24, 2011 - 12:56

    Holy Crap more circles. Funny how when one thing works at one spot our government wants to overkill it instead of coming up with different resolutions. We are a small Island that should stay that way. I am beginning to believe that the government has a deal with the automotive industry whether it be the tire companies or auto shops as the continuous building of roundabouts is not helping us maintain our cars as it will multiply the problems. So now everyone is punished instead of just the people with the inability to judge and drive at an intersection. GIVE US BACK OUR SMALL ISLAND CHARM!!!!!

    • nitpicker
      November 24, 2011 - 16:34

      Well define "overkill". Because frankly, if it works in one area why on Earth would you not at least consider it elsewhere? What's a different resolution? More traffic lights? I would argue traffic circles are more conducive to our Island "charm" than signalized intersections.

  • Islanduh
    November 24, 2011 - 12:21

    This is exactly what the Belvedere Ave/Brackley Point Rd. cluster$%# of an intersection needs. Everybody complained about all the roundabouts they put in two years ago but once they opened all those people were eating their hats. What's amazing is the fact that so many Islanders still don't know how to use them and treat them as stop signs. Imagine the looks on your kid's/grandkid's faces when you tell them how that intersection used to look! It's embarassing that it's taken this long.

  • country boy
    November 24, 2011 - 12:05

    Finally some common sense applied to our planning process related to moving traffic effectively. When you built these round a bouts please make them big enough and put markings on the lanes themselves to indicate which lane to be in if you are planning to exit. This avoids the problem of someone exiting from an inner lane especially if multiple lanes are involved.