Roundabout resistance - Metro US

Roundabout resistance

In a debate that will put HRM’s new traffic vision to the test, one councillor hopes to derail a new roundabout in his district tomorrow night.

The Halifax intersection of Duffus Street, Novalea Drive and Devonshire Avenue is one of a handful of proposed new roundabout sites. Municipal staff say roundabouts will be faster, greener and safer for drivers and pedestrians.

But one group of residents is determined to fight the changes. At tomorrow’s Halifax regional council meeting, North End Halifax Coun. Jerry Blumenthal will introduce a motion to kill the Duffus roundabout.

“I made up my mind because the residents have made up their minds,” Blumenthal said yesterday.

He said reaction to the idea was overwhelmingly negative at a public meeting last week where about 300 people showed up. He said almost 98 per cent of the feedback, including emails, phone calls and letters, opposes the roundabout idea.

Blumenthal said some fear stems from a 1966 accident at the intersection where a young child was killed. That event sparked the installation of traffic lights and there have been no fatalities there since.

“The people feel that they’re safe with the lights, that they’re so used to the lights,” he said.

Blumenthal added residents worry roundabouts would bring more vehicles driving at a higher speed. He said he supports the changeover in some areas, but not this residential area with four senior complexes and two schools nearby.

For Blumenthal’s motion to pass he will need to win over a majority of councillors. One month ago roundabouts were unanimously accepted in principle.

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