Fittingly, a plan to improve traffic flow near the uptown Tim Hortons features a doughnut-shaped roundabout.
“It has all of council talking, our very first roundabout. I know there’s been quite a bit of excitement,” smiled Mayor Nancy Cooper at council’s Monday meeting.
“This is one of two roundabouts planned for 30th Street,”explained Rob Niewenhuizen, the city’s director of engineering. “This is called the Tim Hortons roundabout.”
The city did a feasibility study about three years ago.
Last month a request for proposals for the design of a roundabout at Ninth Avenue and 30th Street NE was issued and, on Monday, the city awarded the $29,730 contract to Opal International Consultants (Canada). Opal is based in Kelowna with project experience in the Salmon Arm area.
The design is expected to be complete in mid-August but it’s not known how long construction will take.
Niewenhuizen said the design will be for just one of the two roundabouts proposed.
“We want to get a good feel for what the cost is going to be.”
The second is proposed for the intersection of 11th Avenue and 30th Street NE, near the turnoff to McDonald’s restaurant and Setters Neighbourhood Pub.
Coun. Kevin Flynn noted that having just driven across the United States to Ontario, “we are certainly behind the rest of the world…,” he said, adding that roundabouts are extremely efficient. “As someone who drives that intersection a lot, it will be a significant improvement.”
Coun. Alan Harrison said he’s pleased it’s possible to build a roundabout at that intersection as he would have thought it’s too close to the highway.
“The stacking doesn’t look that great to the highway, but I will leave it to the experts.”
Coun. Tim Lavery inquired whether the intersection will accommodate pedestrian and bicycle traffic.
Niewenhuizen noted that 30th is designated as a bike route, so bikes can share the road with vehicles. He said there will be no bike lanes as the road has not been built out to its full arterial width.
Lavery asked if the designer will be able to comment on the best plan for bicycles.
Niewenhuizen said that request can be put in the project specifications, and added that a pedestrian corridor still goes through.
Lavery noted that the question of how the city can encourage bike traffic in whatever project they’re doing has come up several times.
Coun. Louise Wallace Richmond pointed out that the Shuswap Healthy Communities Coalition works with Interior Health and has a built-environment consultant on staff.
“They’re often asked to contribute with… built environment in mind. The service is available to us as well as private builders.”
With a smile, Harrison said the roundabout could provide good possibilities for naming.
“Because that doughnut right there,” he said, pointing to the map with circles drawn to represent roundabouts, “it looks like a mint one. We could get Tim Hortons to do the naming.”
Wallace Richmond suggested a maple Canada 150 doughnut.