Traffic circles are a tool that have been used in parts of Edmonton for decades, but more and more communities around the city are adding new, modified versions of the concept in an effort to keep traffic moving.

In Edmonton, traffic circles such as the ones on 107 Avenue and 142 Street, 118 Avenue and St. Albert Trail, and on 85 Street at 98 Avenue and 90 Avenue have been in place for decades, but they’ve been an issue for some.

“You yield before you enter, that’s the big rule,” Driving instructor Jason Hall said.

“They’re good for reducing speed and they get rid of one of the big ones that we at drivers ed are worried about, which are those scary blind left turns that we have to make sometimes.”

Hall says he’s heard from many drivers who are confused about how to drive on traffic circles, and roundabouts.

In Spruce Grove and St. Albert, crews are installing roundabouts – a smaller version of a traffic circle that forces drivers to slow down with sharper entrance angles.

“The roundabout intersections are just another tool in the transportation engineer’s toolbox,” Corry Broks, President at Al-Terra Engineering said.

“Research has shown that the modern roundabout decreases, for example, intersection fatalities by 90 percent, collisions by 40 percent.”

Broks’ company designed a roundabout that will replace a four-way stop in Spruce Grove, he said resistance to the concept is common.

“Our experience in the past has been that that opposition goes away very quickly once people see the benefit of the roundabout,” Broks said.

In addition to the new roundabouts in St. Albert and Spruce Grove, there’s a plan for five new ones west of 215 Street in Edmonton.

The new installation in Spruce Grove is expected to open in the fall, while the roundabout in Spruce Grove will open next week.

With files from Susan Amerongen