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Getting Through Roundabouts
Safely and Efficiently

The Downtown21 Master Plan includes building Mississauga’s first “roundabout” at the intersection of Square One Drive and Duke of York Boulevard. This will help facilitate existing and expected traffic volumes on Square One Drive and Duke of York Boulevard. The City’s Downtown21 Master Plan has identified roundabouts as features that will contribute to downtown Mississauga in the following ways:


Roundabout Safety

Engineering experience in North America and other regions around the world indicate that roundabouts are safer for all users. There are fewer and less severe collisions due to the geometric features of a roundabout, slower operating speeds, fewer conflict points, and finally the reduced delay perceived by motorists.

Conventional intersections require pedestrians to cross multiple driving lanes at once, exposing them to vehicular traffic for longer periods of time. Roundabouts are designed to allow safe crossing of drive lanes at significantly shorter distance. At a single lane roundabout, pedestrians generally cross only one driving lane at a time, facing traffic from one direction – a distance of 3.5 metres for each direction, with a pedestrian refuge area in the middle. Although this requires the pedestrians to wait for a vehicular traffic gap, slow vehicle speeds and the need for the motorist to yield before entering the roundabout result in sufficient gaps.

How Roundabouts Function

Roundabouts regulate vehicular and pedestrian traffic by allowing continuous lower speed traffic flows, which generally increase both safety and capacity of the intersection; they can result in the creation of beautiful and unique streets, and facilitate better utilization of spaces. Roundabouts do not require storage lanes and turn lanes to operate efficiently. Thus, roundabouts free up space for other important purposes such as on-street parking and pedestrian refuge areas.

There are typically no traffic signals at intersections controlled by roundabouts to define rights-of-way for motorists, pedestrians, or cyclists – entering motorists will need to yield to pedestrians and other motorists in and around a roundabout. Intersections controlled by roundabouts significantly reduce vehicle delay, leading to less idling and ultimately are considered more environmentally friendly. Finally, roundabouts are designed to safely accommodate larger vehicles such as trucks and buses, tend to generate lower maintenance costs, and are aesthetically pleasing to users – frequent and new.

Aesthetics of Roundabouts

Roundabouts employ less hard surface, therefore, offer more opportunities for landscaping. The center island of a roundabout is ideal for planting beds of flowers, trees, and/or art. Curb lanes of each crossing street could be converted to additional parking spaces, spaces for street trees, landscaping, and seating areas. On-street parking opportunities will also benefit customers and businesses in the community, and improve economic development.

Environmental Impact of Roundabouts

Roundabouts use less hard surface, thus, result in accumulation of less storm water runoff. Noise and air pollution are reduced due to less idling, less accelerating and deceleration. Roundabouts do not require electricity to operate which is significant advantage in general, particularly during power outages.