Sherwood Drive/Broadmoor Boulevard Traffic Circle
Strathcona County presented findings and recommendations related to the traffic circle at the October 22, 2019 Priorities Committee Meeting.
The traffic circle was the third highest collision intersection in Sherwood Park. The County implemented changes in May 2016 to reduce collisions and improve driver understanding. The changes are based on a detailed 2015 engineering study completed by Al-Terra Engineering and were made for the interim, until the intersection requires reconstruction or rehabilitation.
As a result, the traffic circle is operating better than expected, with significantly fewer collisions than previously experienced.
The safety changes have made the traffic circle one of the lowest arterial road collision intersections. Collisions have reduced an average of 48 per cent.
Navigate traffic circles safely
- Always yield to vehicles exiting the circle, even if you are driving straight through.
- Never change lanes in the circle.
- When in doubt, use the right lane to go straight; use the left lane to enter the circle.
Long-term options for the traffic circle
The long-term option for the traffic circle is to convert the intersection into a modern, multi-lane roundabout.
Based on the three-year safety evaluation, and to make most effective use of construction capital, Strathcona County recommends operating and maintaining the traffic circle with the interim changes until it either no longer supports the volume of traffic, or until the road requires scheduled lifecycle replacement/rehabilitation. It is anticipated the road will require replacement rehabilitation within six to 10 years.
The Traffic Safety Advisory Committee recommends the traffic circle be considered for redesign and reconstruction upon regular rehabilitation of the road as deemed necessary by Strathcona County, with a cost/benefit analysis.
Traffic Circle FAQ
1. Why did Strathcona County make changes to the traffic circle in 2016?Permanent link to Why did Strathcona County make changes to the traffic circle in 2016?
A March 2015 survey with over 2,200 resident responses showed a great deal of support for keeping a traffic circle or roundabout. Residents felt poor driver behaviour at the circle was due to a lack of driver understanding and was the leading cause for collisions.
The limited signage at the circle (both way finding signs and lane designation signs) and the uncommon design of the circle were both identified as factors which may have contributed to driver confusion.
The interim changes address these concerns as well as transportation engineering best practices in collision reduction.
Strathcona County is committed to the proactive implementation of integrated, evidence-based and collaborative road safety strategies to create an increasingly safe and sustainable transportation environment.
2. Have the traffic safety changes been successful?Permanent link to Have the traffic safety changes been successful?
The safety changes have made the traffic circle one of the lowest collision intersections for arterial roads in Sherwood Park. Collisions have reduced an average of 48 per cent over the three-year evaluation period, compared with the three-year collision average before the changes were made.
The safety evaluation included three years of data after the 2016 changes were made. In traffic engineering, a minimum of three years of data is required to fully evaluate the impact of a traffic control change. This evaluation included observing how the intersection operates, reviewing collision data, and hiring a consultant to complete an industry leading video-based analysis and predictive modelling study.
3. What changes were made to the traffic circle in 2016?Permanent link to What changes were made to the traffic circle in 2016?
The traffic circle on Sherwood Drive/Broadmoor Boulevard has served Strathcona County very well over the years, but it is not built to present day engineering standards. As the volume of traffic has increased, collisions at this location had become more frequent.
- South side of the circle reduced to one lane
- Painted lane markings and arrows
- Northbound on Sherwood Drive reduced to one through-lane
- Shark's teeth yield lines
These changes were evaluated to determine their effectiveness at reducing collisions at this location.
4. What did the survey results say residents wanted at the circle?Permanent link to What did the survey results say residents wanted at the circle?
- Generally, respondents showed a great deal of support for keeping the traffic circle, with great than 80% indicating that keeping the circle was a priority.
- Less than 10% disliked the circle and felt it should be removed.
- Almost everyone that completed the survey felt the circle is very effective in keeping traffic flowing, however this statement was often qualified with “as long as they know how to use it”.
- Residents felt that poor driver behaviour at the traffic circle was a result of lack of driver understanding. The lack of signage at the circle (both way finding signs and lane designation signs) and the unfamiliar design of our circle were both identified as factors which may be contributing to driver confusion.
5. Why was the barricade installed and lane reduced at the south end of the circle?Permanent link to Why was the barricade installed and lane reduced at the south end of the circle?
Residents indicated there were problems with drivers changing lanes in the circle. They also wanted it to be easier to access Tamarack Avenue. Traffic flow analysis shows that few drivers are travelling from southbound on Broadmoor Boulevard to northbound on Sherwood Drive in both lanes. One lane is enough to accommodate these drivers. The lane reduction is based on engineering standards and will eliminate the problems identified by residents.
6. How can I go all the way around the traffic circle?Permanent link to How can I go all the way around the traffic circle?
Drivers who need to go all the way around the traffic circle can do so by remaining in the inside lane.
7. Why can you go straight in the left lane on Broadmoor, but not north on Sherwood Drive?Permanent link to Why can you go straight in the left lane on Broadmoor, but not north on Sherwood Drive?
Drivers in the left lane on Sherwood Drive will now have to enter the traffic circle. Drivers in the right lane can either enter the traffic circle or can continue on straight on Sherwood Drive. This is to address a high collision area, where drivers in the right lane tried to enter the circle while those in the left lane were travelling straight.
8. Why couldn't you leave the circle alone?Permanent link to Why couldn't you leave the circle alone?
The Sherwood Drive traffic circle was the third highest collision location in Sherwood Park. Public feedback as well as engineering assessment indicated that the uncommon design of the circle (with two straight approaches) contributed to driver confusion at the circle.
A three year evaluation following the changes shows the implementation of clearly marked lane usage rules has reduced collisions and improved driver understanding.
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