Huron County Council prefers roundabout at busy intersection

Blackburn News file photo.

Huron County council has made a decision regarding the intersection of county road 8 and Airport Line in Exeter.

County Engineer, Steve Lund, says the intersection has a long history of accidents, with the OPP identifying driver error as the cause of most of them. Consultants looked the history of the intersection and after consulting several people, made three recommendations to county council. Lund says the first was to do nothing, the second was to consider traffic lights and the third was to consider a roundabout. Lund says, based on the public consultation and the situation in terms of entrances and the land use, the roundabout option was the preferred option.

So, Lund says, that was presented to council this week and council has endorsed proceeding with the Environmental Assessment process, which will be going back out to the public and preparing a screening report and a draft environmental study report. Lund says that will come back to council and then they put it on thirty-day notice and then if everything goes ahead, it gets approved.

Lund says some people still have some reservations about roundabouts, in most cases because they’re just not used to them and this would be the first one in Huron County. But Lund says more of them are being used in more populated areas and he says they do have advantages in terms of being able to move traffic quicker on demand and he says there’s a lot of statistics that indicate they’re more environmentally friendly in terms of not having to come to complete stop, so it does save consumption of fuel, as well as reduce severity of accidents. Lund says collisions in a roundabout tend to be more of the fender-bender variety than ninety-degree collisions at high speed.

Lund suggests that, as the population grows and traffic increases, in Huron County, it’s likely there will be more roundabouts.