Construction is set to begin this summer on a new roundabout being installed in Fredericton at the intersection of Route 105 and Two Nations Crossing.
The province states the new roundabout will improve safety and traffic flow, reduce travel delays and congestion.
Fredericton driver Jackie Steeves said she has concerns about another roundabout being constructed in the city, and said she has close calls every time she drives through the current roundabout at the top of Smythe Street.
“I’ve seen the plans and I have some reservations about the dedicated exit lanes,” Steeves said. “It seems some drivers have had some difficulty getting the hang of the [Smythe Street] roundabout… and I’m concerned that this new roundabout will just further confuse people,” Steeves said.
“I drove through it every single day on my way to work. My No. 1 issue is people not going when they can go,” Steeves said. “It’s like they seem to be waiting for some sort of engraved invitation or something to actually proceed into the traffic circle, so I wouldn’t be surprised if there were lots of rear-ending incidents there.”
According to City of Fredericton traffic engineer Jon Lewis, he said there are one to two minor collisions every month in the roundabout, but he said none of those have resulted in injuries. He told Global News approximately 20,000 vehicles go through the roundabout on a daily basis.
Steeves said on Wednesday night, she was driving through the roundabout when someone changed lanes in the traffic circle and nearly hit her.
“I know the dotted lines are there and it probably creates some confusion for people because you can usually change lanes when there are dotted lines, but you can’t change lanes in a traffic circle,” Steeves said.
She said people don’t always signal when they’re exiting the roundabout and said often times, people will “zoom in” as she’s trying to exit it without looking at her signal light.
Steeves said she grew up in Moncton where there are several traffic circles and said for some reason, some drivers in Fredericton just don’t understand how to safely use the roundabout without putting others at risk.
The new roundabout is expected to be completed by the end of the summer.
In an email from the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure spokesperson Jeremy Trevors, he said the province is also looking at putting roundabouts at Brookside Drive and the north end of the Princess Margaret Bridge.
Trevors said there have been serious collisions at Brookside Drive.
“The potential for such future accidents can be significantly reduced by construction of a roundabout. Route 105 from Brookside Drive to the Westmorland Street Bridge experiences traffic congestion during peak periods,” Trevors said.
He said total cost for the roundabout going in at Two Nations Crossing and Route 105 is roughly $3 million.
Trevors said the other two roundabouts are currently in the design stage and said construction will depend on funding.
He said there won’t be road closures during the Two Nations Crossing construction phase, but said there could be disruptions.
“Pedestrian and bicycle traffic will be accommodated at all three locations,” Trevors said.
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