These aren’t examples of obsolete intersections or places where traffic grew too quickly.  These are examples of things that were designed badly.

7. Bishop Dr. near Hanwell

tf-bishop

Why are the lanes so wide?  There’s enough room for 2 cars in each lane.

Update: Jan 2012: FIXED! The lines have been adjusted so that you now have two clear lanes to drive in.

6. Oromocto’s Gateway Roundabout

tf-oromocto

A well designed roundabout is an excellent device to control traffic flow.  It is most useful in intersections where there is a lot of turning traffic.  It really helps if you have all of the streets actually going into the roundabout.  There’s no reason a roundabout has to be a perfect circle, ovals still work as well.  Only 3 out of 4 roads going into it, not so much.

5. Two Nations Crossing

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The city had the perfect opportunity to make a high speed east-west highway on the North side that would eventually connect to the Marysville Bypass. This would have made a ring road around 75% of the city (assuming it connects to the old TCH by the Princess Margaret Bridge).  In fact, all they would need is a bridge at the end of the Ring Road to connect to the old TCH and we’d actually have a true ring road that goes all the way around the city. This would solve many traffic problems for years ahead.  Unfortunately, city council can’t think any farther ahead than their 4 year term so they decided to not limit access to the road and it will soon be full of box stores which will plug up the traffic on that street.

4. Uptown traffic lights not being timed

Every try to go up Regent St in rush hour? Traffic doesn’t move a lot because each of those sets of lights run on sensors and none of them are linked to each other. They also only have sensors at the stop lines so they can’t predict if a wave of traffic is coming up the street.  The simple solution here is more sensors and linking them so you can get a good amount of traffic up Regent St. on each cycle.

3. Non-continuous street names

  • Forest Hill / Beaverbrook / Dundonald / Waggonners Lane
  • Gibson / Canada
  • Union / Main

When cities become amalgamated, or streets rearranged to join up, they are reluctant to change the street names for fear of annoying people. This, however, make it really confusing for newcomers and tourists. They just need to suck it up and make the residents change their addresses.

2. Spaghetti Junction

tf-spag

“Spaghetti Junction” is the only name I know of this intersection that won’t cause this post to get blocked by filters. Originally, there was a train track running through it which made it difficult to work with. Now, there’s only a trail which can easily be moved. There’s no excuse for this mess, it’s confusing, badly signed and difficult to navigate through during rush hour. Please hurry up and replace it with a roundabout.

1. The drivers

tf-mergefail

You can design the greatest road system around, but you’ll still fail when 25% of the drivers don’t know how to use it. It’s common knowledge that Fredericton drivers are terrible, there’s even a Facebook group and a live MergeFailCam. For some reason, city police overlook these offenses. It isn’t about money as the city doesn’t get to keep any of the fine from a speeding ticket. They run ads on TV telling people how to cross the street, but they won’t run ads telling people how to merge.

Much congestion could be solved in a few key places:

  • When taking the ramp to exit to Regent St from the Westmorland St. Bridge, drivers tend to stop at the end of the cloverleaf when attempting to go on to St.Anne’s Pt. Bvd.
  • When at a traffic light downtown, drivers will enter an intersection when there is no way out and block traffic
  • When heading north on Westmorland towards the bridge, drivers will stop and let Queen St. traffic in front of them. They do this despite the fact that the Queen St. traffic will soon have a green light of their own
  • When heading South on Regent St., turning right on to Arnold Dr. (in front of Walmart), drivers stop despite having their own lane.
  • When taking the Regent. St. exit when coming South from the old TCH (#8), drivers stop when it joins up with the Vanier, despite having their own lane.

Enforcing the basic rules of the road (and educating drivers) will clear up some of the traffic headaches that are experienced.  Doing so can even save on costly expansion projects. It will most certainly cut down on road rage. For some mysterious reason, these rules aren’t enforced. Perhaps all the decision-makers are bad drivers?