As the $80.1-million Maley Drive extension in Sudbury nears completion, the city is preparing to open the first roundabout in its short history.
Located at the entrance of Collège Boréal in the city's north end, the first of three roundabouts will open at noon on Nov. 25, the city said in a news release.
“Traffic signals that currently direct vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians will be removed before the roundabout is opened on Monday,” the release said.
Two more are slated to open – one on Barrydowne Road at Maley Drive, and one on Maley Drive at Lansing Avenue – as part of the Maley Drive extension, which is slated to open to traffic before the end of 2019. Some finishing work will continue into 2020. The project is on time and on budget, the release said.
For anyone who has never used a roundabout, the city made an instructional video to help explain how they work. You can view that video below.
Briefly, drivers should slow down as the approach the roundabout, yield to vehicles already in the roundabout, signal which you want to turn as you approach, wait for a gap in traffic to safety enter, watch for traffic signs, and enter the correct lane.
Passing other vehicles is not allowed, and drivers must yield to pedestrians in crosswalks.
The city lists several benefits of roundabouts compared to traditional intersections, including:
- Safety: lower speeds and fewer points of conflict between vehicles. Crossing conflicts such as head on and right angle collisions are eliminated.
- Lower speeds: unlike at a green light at an intersection, vehicles need to slow down to use a roundabout.
- Higher capacity: high volumes of left-turning vehicles are handled better by a roundabout than by a left-turn signal at a traditional intersection.
- Fewer stops and shorter delays: yielding at the entry of a roundabout takes less time than waiting for a green light at an intersection or for a gap in traffic at a stop sign.
- Less idling and air pollution: fewer delays reduces fuel consumption and improves air quality by reducing emissions.
Information was sent out to all residences in Greater Sudbury to help motorists, pedestrians and cyclists understand how to properly use roundabouts. Additional educational material can be found at greatersudbury.ca/roundabouts.
For more information on the Maley Drive Extension Project, visit www.greatersudbury.ca/maleydrive.
This story originally appeared on Sudbury.com.