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Letter to the editor: Issues with roundabouts

I have to shake my head in disbelief again at not one, but two ill-informed opinions by people who don't even live here on the issue with roundabouts.

To the editor:

I have to shake my head in disbelief again at not one, but two ill-informed opinions by people who don't even live here on the issue of roundabouts.

For starters, you will not have to pay for this unwanted, unnecessary asinine project if it gets approved.

The Northwood ward alone has more people, businesses, and vehicles than your towns combined plus a few more...So all supporters pay attention.

Who's telling you they're safe? Did you hear they're safe and that's good enough because experts were involved?

Experts like Phil Weber who works for CIMA+ that designs and promotes roundabouts that the city I live in and pay taxes hired as a consultant?

Mr. Weber's presentation was a sales pitch.

He too had little statistical information except for the glowing reports.

Do a quick search on both Google and Firefox.

There's a general consensus that injuries and deaths go down up to 80 per cent if you're in a vehicle.

However, bicycle injuries and deaths go up 40 per cent to 80 per cent in some locations.

Oddly enough urban roundabouts similar to Victoria and Ford are deadlier than rural ones.

I suspect distracted driving for multiple reasons, especially when you consider electronic device users now account for more deaths and injuries than alcohol and other forms of impairment combined. Statistics for pedestrians too are not encouraging.

Lower traffic speeds are touted as a safety feature but that only applies to vehicles going straight.

Traffic turning speeds are the same or faster because of the continuous flow concept.

Pedestrians are getting killed and maimed by increasing percentages regardless of location.

Another major concern involves the elderly and handicapped.

Local handicap groups had recent Canadian statistics that were disputed, then basically ignored at one information session.

Thunder Bay has an increasing elderly population. This means more elderly drivers and more elderly pedestrians.

In recent years there have been serious incidents involving power chairs, one fatal.

Power chairs are even harder to see than bicycles and the occupant usually has limited scanning ability.

Fender benders rose dramatically and maintained high levels for up to five years "till people got used to them.”

Think of yielding, merging, whatever as you enter, exit the Expressway.

We all know how courteous, knowledgeable and proficient drivers are in this city. Now put eight of those in one convenient location.

You do a slight right before you do your left. But roundabouts should be a piece of cake though in Thunder Bay, right?

One report agreed as usual roundabouts safe but, “they should not be part of a transportation master plan incorporating recreational trails.”

That's one of the biggest reasons Victoria and Ford was chosen because the city wants to extend the north-south trail corridor along Ford.

Britain started using roundabouts in the early ‘60s. One by one they're removing them as are other countries,

Frank Hodgson,
Thunder Bay

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