One of the questions Rob Niewenhuizen, the city’s director of engineering and public works, was asked at a Salmon Arm Chamber of Commerce lunch on Nov. 20 was if the city has given up on traffic circles.
In 2017, the city was looking at a traffic circle for Ninth Avenue and 30th Street NE as well as one at 11th Avenue and 30th, near the turnoff to McDonald’s restaurant and Setters Neighbourhood Pub.
At a council meeting in April 2017, it was announced the city had awarded a $30,000 contract to a Kelowna firm for the design of a roundabout by the Tim Hortons at the top of the hill.
On Wednesday, Niewenhuizen said traffic circles were in the budget a couple of years ago but were cut due to other demands.
He said the city is still trying to sort out what to do with the uptown Tim Hortons location, because a roudabout can’t go there due to the steep grade.
“At some point we’re going to be needing to close that intersection,” he said, adding that while he wouldn’t call it bad planning, not too much thought was given to the distance between the highway and the frontage roads there when they went in.
He said the city’s priority for its first traffic circle is 10th Avenue SW and Shuswap Street, where there is a new four-way stop.
The next priority is by Kal Tire, at the intersection of 10th Street and 5th Avenue SW.