This will be the view entering the River Road roundabout on Chemainus Road heading south. (Photo by Don Bodger)

This will be the view entering the River Road roundabout on Chemainus Road heading south. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Drivers contemplate roundabout logic

Upgrade will make traffic flow smoothly from River Road onto Chemainus Road

The new River Road roundabout that’s part of the Chemainus Road Corridor Upgrade Project seems to have peoples’ heads spinning.

There has been great debate again on social media and on the streets about the proper rules of the road for roundabouts. We’ve had requests from the public to publish the manual, if you will, of what should and shouldn’t be done.

We contacted David Conway, North Cowichan’s director of engineering, for his advice on the subject.

”Our preference is to refer people to ICBC’s web site on how to drive through a roundabout,” he replied. “It’s a fairly detailed explanation of graphics and text and covers drivers, cyclists and pedestrians.”

So we’d advise those interested in either brushing up on their roundabout etiquette or for those who still might not be clear on certain aspects to check that out.

The bottom line is drivers seem to make it far more complicated than needed. And, of course, there are those drivers who think they know the rules and actually don’t, as they cause chaos by flipping off others for perceived wrongdoings.

The concept of entering the circle and leaving is actually quite simple, but the presence of pedestrians and cyclists often causes some confusion.

The roundabouts are designed to keep traffic moving and actually work quite well at intersections that previously were backed up for long stretches.

River Road is one of them. People will find it a lot easier to go left from River into Chemainus than before, even though there is some skepticism being expressed.

A three-way stop would have been a lot worse. At three- and four-way stops, people tend to look at each other and no one can decide who should proceed next. Then, suddenly they both go at the same time.

With the roundabouts and for those wanting to go left from River onto Chemainus Road, all you have to worry about is the traffic to your left. You don’t even need to worry about what traffic is coming from the right.

Once it’s clear for you to enter the traffic circle, you keep going around and before you know it, you make a right turn signal to exit and you’re on your way into Chemainus, as long as someone doesn’t speed to cut in front of you at the last minute so you have to slam on the brakes to avoid a collision.

As always, those are the things that cause problems: driver stupidity, like driving across the middle of the roundabout instead of taking the corner properly. The space is there for truck drivers who need to do that, but not ordinary cars.

Maybe Chemainus can use this latest roundabout addition as a tourist promotion and market it along with the murals. Perhaps that will be of interest to Krystal Adams, the Chemainus Business Improvement Association’s executive director.

Roundabout by Yes would be a natural to adapt as a theme song.

DrivingTraffic

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: Vancouver Island in a January spike while B.C. cases decrease

Island’s top doc Dr. Stanwick breaks down the Island’s rising numbers

Last year’s session with the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP at the Chemainus Legion Hall. (File photo by Don Bodger)
North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP want public input

In-person forums not being held this year

Surf scooter at Kin Beach in Chemainus. (Sylvie Newey photo)
Surf’s up!

Surf scoter scours the waters off Chemainus for food

North Cowichan council held its first meeting of 2021 on Jan. 20.
Firearms Discharge Bylaw amendments put on the backburner

Forestry review still needs to be completed before staff makes a recommendation to council

People skate on a lake in a city park in Montreal, Sunday, January 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
The end of hugs: How COVID-19 has changed daily life a year after Canada’s 1st case

Today marks the one year anniversary of COVID-19 landing in Canada

Dr. Penny Ballem, a former deputy health minister, discusses her role in leading B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccination program, at the B.C. legislature, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. holds steady with 407 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday

14 deaths, no new outbreaks in the health care system

This 2020 electron microscope image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories shows SARS-CoV-2 virus particles which cause COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells cultured in a lab. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, NIAID-RML
B.C. ramping up screening for faster-spreading COVID-19 ‘variants of concern’

B.C. has sequenced about 11,000 COVID-positive samples since last February

Shown is Quality Foods at 319 Island Highway in Parksville. The Island-based grocery chain announced on Jan. 25 it made a $2-per-hour pay premium, implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic, permanent. (Mandy Moraes photo)
COVID-19: Quality Foods makes $2-per-hour employee pay premium permanent

Island-based grocery chain had extended increase twice in 2020

A Cessna 170 airplane similar to the one pictured above is reported to be missing off the waters between Victoria and Washington State. Twitter photo/USCG
Canadian, American rescue crews searching for missing aircraft in waters near Victoria

The search is centered around the waters northeast of Port Angeles

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Keygan Power with brother Quintin and mom Allison while camping the weekend before Keygan’s brain hemorrhage on Aug. 2, 2020. (Photo Allison Power)
B.C. teen ‘locked inside,’ battling to regain speech after severe brain bleed

16-year-old suffers traumatic loss of function, still plays a mean game of chess

The North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP have arrested a prolific offender who is now facing more than 40 charges. (Black Press file photo)
‘Priority offender’ arrested in Cowichan Valley faces more than 40 charges

Tyler Elrix, 37, had a history of evading police; was ordered not to be in Vancouver Island

Jonathon Muzychka and Dean Reber are wanted on Canada-wide warrants. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
Convicted killer, robber at large after failing to return to facility: Victoria police

Dean Reber, 60, and Jonathon Muzychka, 43, may be together

B.C. Premier John Horgan listens during a postelection news conference in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
30% of B.C. recovery benefit applications held up in manual review

The province says 150 staff have been reassigned to help with manually reviewing applications

Most Read