The new roundabout at Waterloo Region’s busiest intersection is now fully operational.
It’s actually been over a week since the roundabout at Ottawa Street and Homer Watson Boulevard opened, along with its neighbour at Ottawa and Alpine Road.
Ever since, drivers have slowly been rediscovering the route as they learn that traffic flow through the area is far smoother than it was during the months when a temporary road was used to divert vehicles around the construction.
At three lanes, the roundabout at Ottawa and Homer Watson is the largest in Waterloo Region.
Not only is the intersection the busiest in the region, it’s also the one that has been ranked as the region’s biggest trouble spot for collisions for many years.
While there is little evidence to suggest roundabouts decrease collisions, they do breed a different sort of crash. Because traffic flows differently than it does at other intersections, head-on and T-bone collisions in roundabouts are virtually unheard of.
“The types of collisions that are being experienced in those roundabouts are much less severe, and there are a reduced number of injuries resulting from collisions than what would happen at a signalized intersection with (traffic lights),” says Wayne Cheater, the region’s senior project manager.
As many as 60,000 vehicles travel through Ottawa and Homer Watson on a typical day.