It was with great disappointment that we had to read in both local newspapers about council’s response to our recent letter regarding the roundabout at 50th St. and 54th Ave.
We were expecting to have been informed about the date and time of this meeting, so that we could have been present to respond in person to the issues presented in the second letter.
Since the council did not actually address our proposal, as presented in our letter at the council meeting on April 14th, we feel the need to write a third letter.
By way of a reminder, this was our proposal: we recommend that Lacombe City council forego the installation of a traffic light at the intersection of 50th St. and 54th Ave. for one year. Instead, we recommend setting up a roundabout this summer using signage, pavement markings and a saucer-shaped circle of concrete or asphalt in the centre of the intersection. This will minimize the cost to council, and will introduce residents to the advantages of roundabouts.
If, after one year of use, the roundabout is deemed inefficient, proceed with the original plan to put up signals at the intersection. It was noted in the newspaper that Matthew Goudy objected to a roundabout since large vehicles would not be able to make the turns through the intersection. The saucer-shaped dome of concrete which we recommend to be placed in the roundabout would be graded in such a way as to allow trucks to drive over it. These drivers would obey the traffic rules but then make the turn by driving over top of the central circle. The number of large semi-trailers using that intersection is minimal. Our observation is that it amounts to one or two per day, if that many. It defies logic to forego the installation of an efficient roundabout for the sake of such a small amount of traffic and for a perceived problem.
After our initial presentation to council on April 14th, articles about the proposal appeared in each of the two local newspapers. Everyone who we spoke to about the proposal responded positively to the idea and the response was unanimously in favour of a roundabout. To us this indicates that the general population is open to the idea of a new method of traffic control in Lacombe despite council’s reservations. A few times the conversation with people turned to the installation of signals at C&E Trail and Woodland Dr. Many thought the installation was ridiculous and believed it a waste of time to have to wait at a light when there was no traffic. I believe that the same thing would occur at 50th St. and 54th Ave. when, for 90% of the time, the traffic fl ow is not congested by people going to or from the school.
Let us reiterate the proposal – set up a roundabout this summer using signs, pavement markings and a dome of concrete in the middle of the intersection. If, after one year of use, the roundabout does not control or move traffic as council desires, revert back to the original plan of a traffic light. We believe that council is overlooking an excellent solution to a traffic issue without giving the solution a fair trial.
The Cave family
Carolyn, Tony, Lyndall, Dara and Bethany