Ottawa/Homer Watson roundabout sees 34 collisions in 29 days
Published Thursday, November 9, 2017 6:07PM EST Last Updated Thursday, November 9, 2017 6:28PM EST
Waterloo Region’s newest and largest roundabout is averaging more than one collision per day.
Through the first 29 days of its operation, 34 collisions were reported at Ottawa Street and Homer Watson Boulevard in Kitchener.
The intersection is the busiest in the region, with approximately 60,000 vehicles using it every day.
It’s also regularly the most collision-prone, with far more crashes occurring there than would have been expected based on the intersection’s design.
The roundabout, along with a smaller roundabout at Ottawa’s nearby intersection with Alpine Road, was conceived of in part as a way to address that problem.
While roundabouts do not prevent collisions, crashes that happen in them are much more likely to be sideswipe-type collisions.
Those low-impact crashes are much less likely to cause serious injuries or deaths than the high-speed T-bone or head-on crashes more common to intersections with traffic lights.
“The number of collisions (doesn’t) necessarily decrease, but certainly the severity does,” says Staff Sgt. Mike Hinsperger of the Waterloo Regional Police traffic branch.
“People say ‘Boy, there are a lot of collisions at those roundabouts.’ That could very well be, but they’re very minor in nature compared to the other types of intersections.”
Out of the 34 collisions at Homer Watson and Ottawa between Oct. 5 and Nov. 2, four involved injuries being reported.
With reporting by Tyler Calver