St. John's council wants input on Rawlins Cross traffic circle

Rawlins Cross is a misshapen mash-up of lights, yield and stop signs that is home to more than 120 accidents in six years — and now, St. John's city council is looking for public feedback on the infamous intersection.

The city wanted to fix Rawlins Cross by removing the lights and closing off part of Military Road, leaving it passable only by foot and bicycle traffic

Essentially, the pilot project saw the intersection turned into a roundabout — or what the city calls a "traffic circle."

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"When we first started it, it was pretty much a dead, 'no, don't do it,'" Coun. Debbie Hanlon said of the feedback after the initial change.

"A lot of people came out of the woodworks and they had valid concerns, some people just wanted to keep it — one person said let's keep it wonky because that's the way we are."

The intersection has been a traffic circle now since August, and the city is hoping people who use it will take part in their feedback survey process, running now through to May 15.

And Hanlon, the city's traffic lead, said there's no doubt a lot of feelings about the intersection, and she's received hundreds of emails on the pilot project.

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"We had lots of engagement at the beginning — mainly negative, I might add — but it didn't take long when drivers got the groove of it to get a lot of compliments," Hanlon said.

"Many of the people that opposed it are now in favour. Not saying that it's perfect, because that's what we're looking to the public for. But the more engagement we get, the better — especially when it comes to the focus on pedestrian safety."

Hanlon said feedback they receive will help shape the next plans for the traffic projects, and a number of things are on the table, adding "anything is possible."

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"Yes, it could go back to the way it was," she said.

"Yes, it could changed into something different, yes, we could have traffic lights for pedestrians. It all depends on the engagement piece and the evaluation from the transportation department."

The public engagement survey on Rawlins Cross is also hoping for feedback on another traffic pilot project, on Ladysmith Drive.

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