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City looks at bicycle-friendly roundabout on Nicola

Bicycle-friendly roundabout like this one may be built at Nicola-12th intersection.

Bicycle-friendly roundabout like this one may be built at Nicola-12th intersection.

NEWS — Roundabouts aren’t everybody’s cup of tea, but they’re coming into increasing vogue as City traffic planners look for ways to increase safety. Soon, cyclists may have their own roundabouts.

Well, not all to themselves, but council is looking at “mini-roundabouts” on bicycle routes through town that are shared with motorists. The mini-roundabouts operate much the same as a regular roundabout but their primary purpose is to slow car and truck traffic.

As with other roundabouts, they would eliminate the need to stop at intersections.

Council today approved a plan to go after funding to help build a mini-roundabout at Nicola Street and 12th Avenue. The intersection is on the bicycle route that runs between St, Paul Street West and the multi-use pathway at the Valleyview interchange.

Coun. Pat Wallace made a motion to accept the recommendation to look into funding, saying, “it seems to be a fair amount of money” but “I think if we can find the support for it, it would be a positive thing to do.”

She said people often don’t pay attention to the speed limit in the area so “it’s a great safety precaution. It’s a great idea.”

The roundabout would be monitored for two years and, if successful, would serve as a template for others, said development and engineering services director Marvin Kwiatkowski in a report to council.

“This project supports the Sustainable Kamloops Plan goals for increasing the number of people using other modes of travel to employment and reducing vehicle ownership,” he said.

Staff hopes to get about $70,000 from the Cycling Infrastructure Partnerships Program, which would take of about half the cost. If the funding isn’t approved the project would be put on hold.

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About Mel Rothenburger (6992 Articles)
ArmchairMayor.ca is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At ArmchairMayor.ca he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

7 Comments on City looks at bicycle-friendly roundabout on Nicola

  1. The city is completely ignorant when it comes to what’s needed for safe cycling infrastructure … and should be held criminally negligent if there ever is a death or serious injury due to the city’s refusal to install proper infrastructure. Sticking a traffic circle here and there “looks” good to the general public but for cyclists, it does nothing. The bike route through that part of town is a joke! Why allow for unhindered vehicle traffic North-South and force cyclist to ensure stop after stop after stop and potentially dangerous intersections of inattentive and speeding motorists. It makes better sense to put the stop signs on the cross streets and make the bike route the through traffic. Or the other solution is to fully develop Columbia Street for what it is — a thoroughfare for ALL traffic, by which I mean dedicated bike lanes from the Valleyview interchange all the way to Summit Drive. Again, the city planners (and perhaps those elected into office) are pretty ignorant of the real issues facing cyclists. Time for change!

  2. I live on 800 block Nicola and I can’t even fathom why they would waste money on a roundabout at 12th and Nicola. The bike path is supposed to go from St. Paul to 8th then down Nicola to the end where it meets Columbia on the curve. The busiest cross streets are 9th and 10th and even those wouldn’t warrant a roundabout IMO. Pretty expensive solution to avoid stop signs on every intersection. I would rather see them finish the sidewalks in this area.

  3. Modern roundabouts, including the mini-versions, include a mountable curb around the circular island. It’s there to keep the usual motorists off, and going slower, but also permits larger vehicles, like trucks, buses and emergency vehicles, to drive over it to make turns or through movements.
    Visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vsCoI7lERGE
    Or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nVzsC2fOQw for examples.
    Mini-roundabouts are less common in North America, but frequently used in the UK. They are usually all truck apron. Some examples:
    White Center, WA: http://tinyurl.com/white-center-mini
    Dimondale, MI: http://tinyurl.com/dimondale-mi-mini
    San Buenaventura, CA: http://tinyurl.com/sbv-ca-mini
    Anacortes, WA: http://tinyurl.com/AnacortesMini

    The photo appears to show a neighborhood traffic circle.

  4. I wish the city constructed the roundabout at the intersection of Pacific Way and Aberdeen Drive with a raised curb like the example in the photo above. Instead, it has a lovely greenery space as well as a rather large brick area surrounding it, which I’m certain isn’t meant to actually be driven on. Several times I have witnessed vehicles speeding right over top of the brick, ignoring the roundabout altogether. It’s frustrating and downright dangerous.

    That being said, I don’t think mini-roundabouts would necessarily slow drivers down and make it safer for cyclists since roundabout “rules” seem like a foreign concept to them.

    (Great new layout, by the way!)

    • Mel Rothenburger // January 21, 2014 at 11:08 PM // Reply

      Thanks, Kara, I’m gradually working the bugs out of the new look. As to the roundabouts, I’m not sure about the Pacific Way-Aberdeen Drive one but some roundabouts are actually constructed without curbs so that large vehicles with a large turning radius can cut corners, so to speak, if they’re exiting straight ahead. The new one at Interior Savings Centre is built that way and I watched a semi take full advantage of it one day. Sometimes, though, I think it’s just a case of bad driving.

      • That would make sense then since the road is a bus route. You’re probably right though – it’s most likely a case of poor driving skills.

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