It’s a common reaction — notice of a public meeting about something is overlooked, then when plans emerge, there is an outcry that enough consultation was not done.
In Clearwater, there were two information sessions held by municipal council and the Ministry of Transportation about putting in a roundabout at a high-traffic intersection.
Now that the project is proceeding, there is a reaction from some there that consultation was inadequate and it’s happening too quickly.
One business owner planned to host a public meeting of his own last night so those concerned could further discuss the issue; he hopes council and the ministry will overturn the decision.
Perhaps there’s a lesson in here for the ministry and council that they fell short in explaining the decision-making process — according to the acting mayor, even council didn’t realize how quickly it would go ahead — as well as ensuring citizens understood the benefits of a traffic circle versus a traffic light.
According to a District of Clearwater press release, a majority those at the open house were in favour of the roundabout and council continued to receive “favourable” feedback on the proposal.
It stated the roundabout is the “first stage of a safety strategy for the Highway 5 corridor through Clearwater” and other “traffic calming strategies” are being considered, as well as another high-traffic intersection on Highway 5.
We think once people gain a better understanding of roundabouts, public sentiment will sway in favour of it.
Unlike traffic lights, roundabouts slow traffic, but fewer vehicles have to come to a stop, thus gaining travel time while reducing idling.
As all traffic must slow for a roundabout, they are supposed to reduce serious collisions that can occur when vehicles turn into the path of another going straight at a high speed.
They can be clearly marked with arrows on lanes as well as signage, so shouldn’t be confusing.
Additionally, it will give locals an equal opportunity to cross or enter the highway instead of having to try to dart into it.
So despite some feeling the consultation lacked and things moved too quickly, we expect residents will be pleased with the end result.
We Say editorials represent the viewpoint of The Daily News and are written by editor Robert Koopmans, city editor Tracy Gilchrist, news editor Mike Cornell or associate news editors Dan Spark and Mark Rogers.