Improve Neighbourhood Roundabouts to provide for safe pedestrian crossing
Neighbourhood roundabouts are being developed across the city. These roundabouts serve to maintain a comfortable traffic flow for cars and cyclists on residential streets. Unfortunately, due to their design, these roundabouts fail to provide security for pedestrians since there are no visual cues to suggest that pedestrians even have a right to cross the street. In a local classroom survey, grade 4’s exclaimed that they feel unsafe crossing at these roundabouts and I regularly see uncertainty in the eyes and actions of pedestrians crossing at roundabouts.
There are a number of ways to improve this situation. Here are two examples:
Cheap and Easy - Paint pedestrian crossing lines to remind drivers/cylists to look for pedestrians.
Better Alternative - Slightly raise roundabout intersections starting beyond the pedestrian crossing. This slight change in elevation in combination with the use of crossing markings provide visual cues and physical changes in the road condition to slow traffic to appropriate intersection speeds. This allows pedestrians to feel more confident and drivers/cyclists to be more considerate.
Note: Road safety priority should be organized from most vulnerable to least and therefore 1. Pedestrians 2. Cyclists 3. Motorists
All new traffic circles are designed to keep cars and bicycles out of the pedestrian crossing areas.
J. Bruce Pollock commented
I think roundabout are an effective way to maintain traffic flow for cyclists on bikeways. Example: the Adanac/Vernon/Drive corner is a perfect example where 2 roundabouts could be employed to reduce the need for cyclists to stop on a designated bike way. This goes for the same for the intersection at the Union Street park at Hawks.
Travis Martin commented
Hi Edward, I think you should reconsider. At first it may not sound like a green initiative but it's similar in philosophy to the number one ranked idea "cycling for everyone". The premise is two fold:
1. Motorized transportation uses a high amount of resources while cycling/walking doesn't but instead creates a healthy lifestyle.
2. If there is a safe, comfortable and desirable infrastructure to bike/walk then more people of all ages will do it.
Since sidewalks already separate pedestrians from cars and bikes it is generally at intersections where danger is highest. Vancouver's Neighbourhood roundabouts are a relatively new and still unrefined idea that in a piecemeal way are breaking the pedestrian network. Fixing this safety problem will help ensure a strong continuous pedestrian network and lead to more pedestrians and less car miles driving kids to school etc.
Edward Parker commented
An absolutely excellent idea, but I'm not giving it a vote as I don't see at as a green issue as much as a safety one.