Roundabouts

Roundabouts are new to our area, although they are in use throughout the world with great success. The Municipality has completed thirteen single lane roundabouts to improve safety and traffic flow.

  • Chemainus Road and Oak Street and Victoria Road
  • Chemainus Road and Henry Road
  • Beverly Street and Lakes Road
  • Cowichan Lake Road and Sherman Road (Berkey's Corner)
  • Maple Bay Road and Tzouhalem Road
  • Canada Avenue and Sherman Road
  • Cowichan Lake Road and Gibbins Road
  • University Way
  • York Avenue and Beverly Street
  • Drinkwater Road and Somenos Road
  • Westlock Road and Trumpeter Close (built by developer)
  • Kingsview Road and Nevilane Drive (built by developer)
  • Green Road at Cowichan Commons (built by developer)
  • Kingsview Road and Donnay Drive
  • Drinkwater Road and Lane Road

For a demonstration on how to use a roundabout, check out the animated demonstrations below:

What about Emergency Vehicles?

  • If you have not yet entered the roundabout, let the emergency vehicles pass you
  • If you are in the roundabout, continue on and exit as normal, then pull to the right where there is room for the emergency vehicle to pass
  • Do not stop inside the roundabout

Tips for Pedestrians

  • At each approach to the roundabout, there is a clearly marked pedestrian crossing. Pedestrians should cross only at these designated crosswalks
  • Although vehicles are required to yield for all pedestrians, caution should be exercised at all pedestrian crossings.  There is a shared pedestrian-bicycle path connecting to the crosswalks

Tips for Cyclists

  • Cyclists can use either the shared pedestrian-bicycle path or ride inside the roundabout. Less experienced cyclists can use the shared pedestrian-bicycle path while more experienced riders may choose to cycle through the roundabout
  • While approaching the roundabout, you have the option to either merge left into the traffic or walk your bike on the sidewalk
  • Use the designated crosswalks to pass through the intersection. Take the same precautions as required from pedestrian traffic
  • If you ride with the traffic, remain centered in the traffic lane as you approach, enter or while circulating in the roundabout. As with vehicular traffic, you must wait at the yield line for a sufficient gap in the circulating traffic before entering the roundabout

Truck Apron

This is an outer mountable portion of the central island of the roundabout.  It is designed to allow large and emergency vehicles to manoeuvre around the circulating roadway.  No other vehicles should drive in this area.

Advantages

There are many advantages to installing a roundabout versus a traffic signal at these intersections, including:

  • Reduced number of conflicts
  • Encourages speed reduction and speed consistency at the intersection
  • Reduced severity of vehicle and pedestrian accidents due to lower speeds
  • Provides greater capacity
  • Provides more time for entering drivers to judge, adjust speeds and enter a gap in circulating traffic
  • Makes all movements right turns
  • Enables safe and quick U-turns
  • Does not have signal equipment which requires constant power, periodic light bulb and detection maintenance
  • Does not require regular timing updates
  • Has a longer service life (25 years) compared to a signal (10 years)
  • Roundabout is not affected by the confusion experienced at a traffic signal during a power outage
  • Provides an opportunity to provide an attractive entry or center piece for a community or neighbourhood
  • Eliminates pedestrian vulnerability to left and right turning vehicles
  • Provides increased visibility of pedestrians and refuge area for pedestrians to wait in the middle of the road
  • Discourages erratic or undesirable cyclist behaviours
  • Provides simplified turn movements for cyclists
  • Emergency vehicles are not faced with unexpected through vehicles running the light and hitting them at high speeds
  • The roundabout designs for both intersections will accommodate large trucks and buses