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HRM Wants Province to Interpret Its Own Law

(Thursday, May 4/06)-- When is a rotary or a roundabout not a rotary or a roundabout in the Halifax Regional Municipality?

That’s what HRM wants the Nova Scotia Department of Transportation and Public Works (TPW) to clarify for its traffic officials and the motorists who make 55,000 trips a day through the Armdale Rotary.

A spokesperson for TPW stated yesterday that the Armdale Rotary was still a rotary, and not a roundabout, because the municipality had not made certain changes to the traffic circle.

However, in conversation with other TPW officials today, HRM was told that the Armdale Rotary was not really a rotary or a roundabout, but “a circular piece of road way, with traffics signals” to regulate the movement of vehicles.

Ken Reashor, HRM’s Traffic Authority, said today that HRM would like, in writing, TPW’s interpretation of what they think the Armdale Rotary is under the Motor Vehicle

Mr. Reashor said HRM believes that the Armdale Rotary is still a rotary, but last year’s amendment to the Motor Vehicle Act changed the operations for both rotaries and roundabouts. So, rather than motorists alternating one-on-one as they have in the past, drivers entering the Armdale Rotary now must yield to traffic already in the roundabout.

The new provision in the Motor Vehicle Act --- Section 135 (1)-- states “The driver of a vehicle entering a roadway in or around a rotary or a roundabout shall yield the right-of-way to traffic already on the roadway in the circle and approaching so closely to the entering highway as to constitute an immediate hazard.”

Confused? Based on the amendment to the Act, it really doesn’t matter whether the Armdale Rotary is a rotary or a roundabout, because vehicles entering either one must yield the right-of-way to vehicles already on the traffic circle.

Mr. Reashor hopes to have a speedy response from the province’s Transportation department soon so those using the Armdale Rotary may know how the province interprets its own law.

Ken Reashor
HRM Traffic Authority