With new information on a possible roundabout at the intersection of Mayhew and Darlington, (see related story this issue), Yorkton Council again debated the issue at some length Monday.
Councillor Randy Goulden said she actually spent time watching at the roundabout on Gladstone South in the city both at 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. Having seen traffic and pedestrians using the roundabout she said, “I feel confident watching that the safety of pedestrians, in my mind, is well-addressed.”
Goulden said she also observed a roundabout just outside a school zone near Saskatoon, suggesting she saw that it “does calm the traffic.”
Coun. Aaron Kienle, who was supportive of a roundabout at the intersection, said he remained in favour, but appreciated the new information administration had brought forward. In particular, the idea of including pedestrian lighting was a positive development, he said.
However, Coun. Ken Chyz was still not sold on the roundabout.
“I’m not saying the administrative report is wrong,” he said, but added he still was not believing a roundabout “is safer than a four-way stop.”
Chyz also cautioned that there are reports that can be found to support both sides of the debate, saying he found one online, although he did not state the source that said roundabouts were not safe for pedestrians.
All Councillors suggested they had received significant feedback from the public. In Chyz’s case he said most were opposed to the roundabout.
“Should their feelings not be taken into consideration?” he asked.
Goulden countered there are certainly those who have voiced support for the roundabout, including a presentation by the Yorkton Chamber of Commerce at the last regular meeting of Council.
“I am convinced by the information in front of me,” she reiterated.
For Quinn Haider the addition of pedestrian lights was the difference, suggesting it was the compromise to keeping children safe, and traffic flowing smoothly, He said it was a solution that would allow him to “put my head on my pillow at night” and sleep well.
Mayor Bob Maloney held to his position that a roundabout was the safest option.
When Council finally got around to a vote it was a rather involved process.
The first motion was to approve Goulden’s reconsideration resolution regarding the roundabout made at the April 15, meeting of Council. It passed with Councillors Mitch Hippsley, Darcy Zaharia and Chyz opposed.
With the issue back for reconsideration Goulden moved a motion outlined by René Richard, Director of Engineering with the City in his report to Council which stated, “that Council direct Administration to authorize the completion of the design for the intersection of Mayhew Avenue and Darlington Street East as a roundabout, with the work to be included in the reconstruction tender for Mayhew Avenue and Darlington Street, and further that Administration be directed to include installation of pedestrian crosswalk lighting by the roundabout in the project.”
The motion passed with Councillors Mitch Hippsley, Darcy Zaharia and Chyz again opposed.
Then a motion to rescind the motion from April was brought, again passing with Councillors Mitch Hippsley, Darcy Zaharia and Chyz opposed.