Temporary traffic circles that offer direction to drivers to slow down at residential intersections are finding their way around Nanaimo neighbourhoods in the night as drivers push them out of position with the bumpers of their vehicles. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)

Temporary traffic-calming circles in Nanaimo go bump in the night

Roundabout signs set up in old backhoe tires jockeyed down the road by practical jokers

Temporary traffic circles in Nanaimo are having trouble with traffic.

The traffic-calming circles – used backhoe tires filled with sand and painted yellow – were set up by the city in residential areas as a method to get motorists to slow their pace a bit when they drive through intersections.

But the temporary traffic-calming circles are being nudged down the road, some distance from their intended stations.

Video footage of a traffic circle being pushed to and fro was captured by a doorbell cam and forwarded to the News Bulletin. That particular temporary traffic circle that was at the intersection of Albion Street and Georgia Avenue is now on the side of the road about 30 metres from where it started.

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Jamie Rose, City of Nanaimo transportation manager, said the temporary traffic circles are part of a test program, requested by city council, that started about eight months ago as an inexpensive way to put traffic-calming devices in place to improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians and collect data and see if they actually work before investing in more expensive, permanent installations. Temporary traffic-calming circles have been placed on Georgia Avenue, Departure Bay Road, Boxwood Road and other locations around Nanaimo.

“It was something we saw Calgary doing, so we thought maybe this is something we could utilize to do some theoretical testing of traffic calming before we make it permanent,” Rose said.

Rose said the city wants to collect about one year of data to include in a report to city council.

He said the city has had some issues with the devices being vandalized and has made changes to try to prevent it, but some people are persistent about thwarting those measures.

“It’s something that we encounter in a variety of circumstances where we go and do everything the way it should be done and somebody, just through sheer will and determination, finds a way to do something with it that we never would have expected,” Rose said.

He said the city would like to continue with future similar pilot projects. He expects a report will be made to council on the effectiveness of the current project sometime in May.

READ ALSO: Speed limit on Nanaimo’s Georgia Avenue will be lowered to 30km/h

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