If you find traffic roundabouts so confusing that you’re willing to drive out of your way to avoid them (hi!), please be advised that a new, potentially even more complicated style of interchange will be opening near Toronto this fall.
It’s called a “diverging diamond,” which sounds cool, but might prove confusing for drivers in the Niagara Region who stumble upon it, as it will be the first of its kind in Ontario and only the third in Canada.
To that effect, the province’s Ministry of Transportation announced this week that it will soon be holding a “public education session” for people to learn about the new interchange, which is located at Glendale Avenue and the QEW.
Ontario’s first diverging diamond interchange in Niagara will make it easier to travel through the region. Learn more at the public education session on Sept 7. #BuildingOntario https://t.co/OPNpvkVqBg pic.twitter.com/QIJFNBzHGh
— Ontario Ministry of Transportation (@ONtransport) August 31, 2022
“The Diverging Diamond Interchange will allow for performance improvement by reducing vehicle conflict points along with allowing unrestricted turning movements,” reads the project’s website.
“It accomplishes this by reconfiguring the traffic lanes to allow for direct access to all four directional highway ramps.”
#DYK that diverging diamond interchanges (DDI) eliminate left turn phases at traffic signals and move almost twice the amount of traffic through the intersection. Learn more about DDIs and all their benefits by visiting https://t.co/kKpOtKPwXI. pic.twitter.com/llhOuiCMpM
— I-4 Ultimate and Beyond (@I4Ultimate) August 31, 2022
Officials say that this new interchange will increase efficiency, safety and mobility for pedestrians and cyclists. You can read all the nitty gritty here if you’re interested in exactly what’s changed at this road juncture, and learn how it’ll work by watching this video.
While only two currently exist in Canada, many U.S. cities are starting to experiment with diverging diamonds. You can already find them in Missouri, New Mexico, Delaware, Virginia and even Calgary.
A @La_DOTD official confirms Louisiana’s first Diverging Diamond Interchange will open up in Kenner on September 12 underneath the I-10 overpass at Loyola Dr.
— Andrés Fuentes (@news_fuentes) August 31, 2022
According to Niagara Region’s website, this new Glendale-QEW interchange has been in the works since early 2020. Shovels hit the ground in April of 2021 and the intersection is expected to reopen as early as October 2022 (and as late as July 23 of next year).
Not everyone is stoked to be learning of the QEW’s soon-to-open diamond roadway, though it is of note that Ontario already has 23 regular roundabouts — and if people can figure those things out, they’ll eventually get the hang of this one, too.