Decision Deferred on Franklin Boulevard Roundabouts

January 30, 2010 at 1:28 pm 2 comments

So how many car crashes along Franklin Boulevard will it take before council decides that “YES, roundabouts are a good idea for the road.” Another car accident on Wednesday January 27, 2010 sent a young man to hospital.

Regional councilors deferred a decision on whether to install 11 roundabouts on Franklin Boulevard over concerns about safety and property expropriation. Staff recommended a plan that would see roundabouts placed at every major intersection but one on the eight-kilometre stretch of road. The proposal has been in the works for more than a year and has been circulated around the community. It is estimated to cost the region close to $50 million.

There has been a significant amount of concern and opposition. “Ever since I found about this, people have been speaking to me about this and just shaking their heads,” said Councilor Jane Brewer. Some of the worry is that the roundabouts will slow down one of the city’s major thoroughfares. “Franklin Boulevard many years ago became the bypass for Cambridge,” Brewer said. “People have come to expect that (they) can make time on this road. You wouldn’t put roundabouts on the Conestoga Expressway.”

  • How can you compare Franklin Boulevard to the Conestoga Expressway?- You Can’t!
  • Does the expressway have schools, houses, and businesses fronting onto the the road? – No!
  • Does the expressway have hundreds of driveways accessing the road? – No!
  • Does Franklin have a speed limit of 90km/h? – No!
  • Why should the City of Cambridge increase the speed on a road where there is already an abundance of speed-related accidents?

Maybe its time people slow down and understand that its not a race to the finish line. There is a movement called the Complete Streets Movement (CSM) which means streets are designed and operated to enable safe access for all users. Pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders of all ages and abiliti es must be able to safely move along and across
a complete street.

The following definition was extracted from my thesis project: “Creating complete streets means transportation agencies must change their orientation toward building primarily for cars. Instituting a complete streets policy ensures that transportation agencies routinely design and operate the entire right of way to enable safe access for all users. Places with complete streets policies are making sure that their streets and roads work for drivers, transit users, pedestrians, and bicyclists, as well as for older people, children, and people with disabilities.”

Another movement entitled, Context Sensitive Solutions (CSS), is defined by the U.S. Federal Highway Administration as, “a collaborative, interdisciplinary approach that involves all stakeholders to develop a transportation facility that fits its physical setting and preserves scenic, aesthetic, historic and environmental resources, while maintaining safety and mobility. CSS is an approach that considers the total context within which a transportation improvement project will exist.”

Roundabout models have worked for decades in Europe, so why should it take so long for Canadians to understand their simplicity?  The deferral was supported unanimously and the matter will come back in March. If the plan is approved then, construction would begin in 2013.

Source: and


Entry filed under: Cambridge, Waterloo Region. Tags: , , , , , , , .

Who Killed the Merger? Franklin Roundabout Plan Still Makes Sense

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. David H  |  January 30, 2010 at 5:56 pm

    I thought Jane Brewer was smart until I read that.

    I hope council comes to their senses soon. Even Outhit says they’re a good idea!

  • 2. Franklin Roundabout Plan Still Makes Sense « Urbanity  |  January 31, 2010 at 10:14 pm

    […] Roundabout Plan Still Makes Sense 31 01 2010 I’m not alone on this topic I guess…. January 30, […]

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