Using Mississauga’s First Roundabout
It was an early evening in the middle of rush hour traffic, and I was driving southbound on Duke of York Blvd. approaching the new roundabout. A woman in a minivan directly in front of me stopped, made a sharp left turn to try to enter the Square One Shopping Mall, and completely disrupted the feng shui of Mississauga's first roundabout. Horns were honking, including mine, at this poor woman who was a victim of poor roadside signage.
A roundabout is a 21st century road design, as not to be confused with olden day traffic circles and junctions. They are gaining popularity in Canada, but even more so in France, which has more than half the world's roundabouts. At a roundabout, vehicles are required to slow down and travel in a counter clockwise direction around a centre island.
If you haven't tried out Mississauga's first and only modern day roundabout, then you should, and when doing so, carefully take note of the signage attempting to explain the use of this. It is rather convoluted, and I can understand how the minivan lady became a victim of the poor roadside signage. I'm sure that this isn't the first time a driver or a pedestrian has been confused on how to use this new road design. There are multiple one way arrows, yield signs, and confusing street signage, not to mention the other vehicles, pedestrians, and cyclists that are also present. As well, confusing signage painted on the road makes it appear as though you can make a left hand turn.
With so much activity happening all at once, it's understandable when one freezes under pressure. I am not an urban planner; however, I think that simple signage would have been more effective in alleviating the confusion of utilizing this street.
The roundabout was introduced at the intersection of Duke of York Blvd. and Square One Drive in conjunction with the opening of Sheridan College in order to slow down traffic, control car noise pollution, create a more environmentally friendly street and make this intersection much safer for pedestrians
In an effort to assist roundabout newbies, I've created a roundabout guide. Feel free to print it, study it, and keep it handy for your trips to Square One, Sheridan College or any of the surrounding areas which will require the use of Duke of York Blvd.
How to use a Roundabout for Drivers
- When approaching the roundabout, drop a gear and slow down, Speedy Gonzales. Check out the abundant amount of signs surrounding this new landmark.
- Be sure to also take note, specifically, for the signs indicating your exit point. You can either continue onto Duke of York Blvd., Square One Mall, or Sheridan College.
- Yield to the traffic already in the roundabout which will come from your left side. They aren't going to stop for you.
- Enter the roundabout to your right, at a reduced speed, in a counter clockwise direction when it is safe to do so. Don't wreck the flow and never come to a full stop unless you are required to. Be alert for pedestrians and cyclists. Yield to pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles already in the roundabout. Stop for pedestrians planning to cross the street, as they have the have the right of way in roundabouts.
- Maintain the feng shui of the roundabout by travelling in a counter clockwise direction until you have reached your exit, at which point, you should use your turn signal to exit.
- If you crack under pressure, get confused, and miss your exit, continue to drive in circles until you figure it out. We promise not to point and laugh.
How to use a Roundabout for Pedestrians and Cyclists
- Cross at marked crosswalks only. You will find them before each road reaches the roundabout.
- Cross one direction of traffic at a time. You don't want to play a game of cat and mouse with a hunk of moving metal.
- Never cross through the centre island as you may distract newbie drivers and potentially be the cause of a multivehicle accident.
Here you have it. It's your roadside guide on Mississauga's first and only roundabout. It seems like an eyeful to watch out for, but once you get the hang of how to use a roundabout, it'll be easy breezy, just like riding a bike. In a nutshell, just go with the flow, counter clockwise that is.
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