OK, we have all heard the news by now about the main highway from Smithers, and Kitimat, BC, going into Terrace, being changed from a four-way stop to a roundabout. And we all seem to have an opinion on this. So I did an unscientific pole at my work, just to see what everyone there felt about it. The comments were both interesting and entertaining, and full of myths and lore, of what will happen once the roundabout is in operation. But first, please have a look at the link from the British Columbia’s Government website, before I move on in this post.
Highway 16 and 37 Intersection (BC GOV CA, as of December 28, 2017)
So, the number one reason for not having a roundabout in Terrace, BC, is: No one will know how to use it, and there will be accidents galore as everyone tries to figure it out.
Number two: People from out of town will never figure it out.
And three: It will be a complete disaster during rush hour, as driver’s compete with the transport trucks motoring through the intersection.
When I first heard about the idea of replacing the intersection with a roundabout, I was a bit in awe. Having come from the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, I have driven over a few roundabouts in my time. The most frequent roundabout I used was at McCallum Road and Highway 1 in Abbotsford, BC. To see this roundabout, please go to the BC Highway WEB-CAM link. I was actually quite amazed at well it worked. When I seen it for the first time, I had no troubles navigating over it, as long as I knew which lane to be in. The marking on the road were quite clear about that. So, the one about to be built in Terrace, should be the same.
The BC Government made this nice animation about how the traffic should flow while using the roundabout versus the existing four-way stop we have now.
Next is a propaganda video about the myths of roundabouts, and why they are better than four-way stops.
Anyway, my personal thoughts about having this intersection changed is a positive one. I see it as something that is badly needed, and was happy to hear that it will be built, starting in spring of 2019. I think this will be a boon for any highway traveller going through Terrace, BC.