Public open houses planned for proposed Augusta roundabouts

Monday, Oct. 14, 2013 3:57 PM
Last updated 10:54 PM
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A list of five intersections considered for circular intersections called roundabouts could be narrowed to three after public comment sessions that will begin Tuesday night.

A roundabout has been proposed at the intersection of Druid Park Avenue and Laney-Walker Boulevard.  SARA CALDWELL/FILE
SARA CALDWELL/FILE
A roundabout has been proposed at the intersection of Druid Park Avenue and Laney-Walker Boulevard.

Funding could limit the number of roundabouts constructed, said Augusta traffic engineer Steve Cassell. About $2 million is available from the special purpose local option sales tax, which would build two roundabouts. More funding could be requested in the next tax phase.

A roundabout at Druid Park Avenue and Laney-Walker Boulevard near Paine Col­lege is proposed as part of a larger project funded by the 1 percent tax specifically for transportation projects. The other proposed roundabout sites are Milledgeville Road at North Leg and Old McDuffie Road; Boy Scout at Skinner Mill roads; Wheeler at Aumond roads; and Central at Monte Sano avenues.

A roundabout is a circular road around a central island on which all traffic flows counterclockwise. Traffic entering a roundabout yields the right of way to traffic already in the roundabout.

Cassell said the five intersections were chosen because they represent different uses for roundabouts, either in areas with heavy pedestrian traffic, high vehicle volumes, commercial areas, accident-prone intersections or for aesthetic improvements.

“Roundabouts are good for replacing four-way stops and signalization,” he said.

Just one intersection in Augusta has a roundabout, but they are becoming more common across the nation and Georgia. State traffic regulations require roundabouts for intersection improvements unless it is proved that they are not the best solution.

“You have to show, at least on state routes, that a roundabout doesn’t work or doesn’t make sense before they let you put a new signal in,” Cassell said.

Roundabouts reduce the risk of right-angle car collisions, Cassell said.

Public information open houses will help residents learn more about the proposals, Cassell said. Construction could begin in late 2014.

IF YOU GO

Four public information open houses are scheduled to review five proposed intersection improvements.

For more information, contact Traffic Engineering at (706) 821-1850. The first meeting is Tuesday night.

Milledgeville Road at North Leg and Old McDuffie Road

WHEN: 6 to 8 p.m. tonight

WHERE: Bayvale Elementary School Cafeteria, 3309 Milledgeville Road

Boy Scout Road at Skinner Mill Road; Wheeler Road at Aumond Road

WHEN: 6 to 8 p.m. Oct. 22

WHERE: Tutt Middle School Cafeteria, 499 Boy Scout Road

Laney-Walker Boulevard at Druid Park Avenue

WHEN: 4 to 6 p.m. Oct. 24

WHERE: Paine College Health Education Activities Learning Complex, 1255 Druid Park Ave.

Central Avenue at Monte Sano Avenue

WHEN: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 24

WHERE: Trinity on the Hill UMC cafeteria, 1318 Monte Sano Ave.

Comments (15) Add comment
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bubbasauce
20573
Points
bubbasauce 10/14/13 - 08:37 pm
7
0
One million dollars for one

One million dollars for one roundabout? You gotta be kidding right. I would love to see the paper work on this one. What a joke!

Bodhisattva
5977
Points
Bodhisattva 10/15/13 - 06:20 am
7
0
"Traffic entering a

"Traffic entering a roundabout yields the right of way to traffic already in the roundabout." If it's heavy traffic, the vehicle just sits and never gets a chance to enter the roundabout. Who in the heck thinks these things are a good idea? Oh, and please tell me why some have an inside lane?

TrukinRanger
1748
Points
TrukinRanger 10/15/13 - 06:38 am
0
1
That would be most of the
Unpublished

That would be most of the world where they're common.

nocnoc
41126
Points
nocnoc 10/15/13 - 06:46 am
7
0
Used them for a year in England and longer in Gwinnett Co.

Traffic circles (round-abouts) work great when used in LOW traffic intersections. But multi-lane versions are a nightmare and NOT what I would call Big or long vehicle friendly.

soapy_725
43672
Points
soapy_725 10/15/13 - 07:47 am
0
0
Your input is always appreciated. Never used. Done deal.
Unpublished

CC has already said the funding comes with instruction to do round a bouts instead of lights.

soapy_725
43672
Points
soapy_725 10/15/13 - 07:48 am
0
0
Locals can't do 4-Way Stops. Must less All Way Yields.
Unpublished

Locals can't do 4-Way Stops. Must less All Way Yields.

soapy_725
43672
Points
soapy_725 10/15/13 - 07:50 am
0
0
Go to Louisiana. Traffic Circle Circus World.
Unpublished

Go to Louisiana. Traffic Circle Circus World.

soapy_725
43672
Points
soapy_725 10/15/13 - 07:51 am
0
0
A four way yield with a flower garden in the middle.
Unpublished

A four way yield with a flower garden in the middle.

soapy_725
43672
Points
soapy_725 10/15/13 - 07:52 am
1
0
Traffic lights that cannot be programmed. Four way stops that
Unpublished

require rocket science to navigate safety.

soapy_725
43672
Points
soapy_725 10/15/13 - 07:57 am
1
0
The "Griswalds" enjoyed the "center lanes" in Europe.
Unpublished

The "Griswalds" enjoyed the "center lanes" in Europe.

itsanotherday1
41949
Points
itsanotherday1 10/15/13 - 08:05 am
1
1
I've never has a problem with

I've never has a problem with them. If you are to the right of a heavily traveled road, you would probably sit as long at a traffic light.

Little Lamb
45282
Points
Little Lamb 10/15/13 - 08:45 am
4
0
New

For new construction, using roundabouts makes absolutely good sense.

But to take SPLOST money and T-SPLOST money to take currently-functioning intersections and re-working them into roundabouts seems to me to be money not well spent.

We have a lot of rough roads in Richmond County that could use some smoothing through re-paving. We have a lot of manhole covers that are higher than the road surface and we have plenty more manhole covers that are lower than the road surface. They could be improved.

seenitB4
85292
Points
seenitB4 10/15/13 - 09:09 am
2
0
Round abouts

We have them here & they are working...low traffic areas ...llamb makes a good point though...some needs might need to come first...

deestafford
26239
Points
deestafford 10/15/13 - 09:26 am
2
0
We had one in Savannah where I grew up (it was called a

traffic circle) and it was a nightmare for decades until it was eliminated. The problem was it was the intersection of four major highways.

Maybe they are good for low traffic areas.

I question if they are needed in the areas discussed particularly Wheeler Road and Boy Scout round abouts.

I really think the money could be better spent. I'd be interested to see a list of road needs in Richmond County and see why these rank higher priority than some of the other needs.

Little Lamb
45282
Points
Little Lamb 10/15/13 - 09:28 am
1
0
Hand Raised

Okay, Bod, I will tell you why some roundabouts have an inside lane. There are some places in the world where five, six or seven roads come together. Instead of having crazy traffic signals there, you can build a large roundabout (sometimes called a traffic circle) with an inside and an outside lane. If, when you enter the traffic circle, you know it will be two or three streets before you need to exit, you can take the inside lane and pass the slow traffic that is exiting before you need to.

Does that make sense?

Fiat_Lux
15068
Points
Fiat_Lux 10/15/13 - 09:41 am
2
0
Who pays these people to come up with such idiocy?

Roundabouts were found to be stupid 50 years ago and mostly removed. Now, they are completely idiotic. In high traffic areas they are the cause of huge back-ups in traffic flow and accident numbers increase. They don't make traffic flow more smoothly than a traffic light or a 4-way stop. People can handle taking turns after about kindergarten, and waiting on a light is nothing to get upset about.

Low traffic areas don't need roundabouts. (See above.) Merging and yielding generally work just fine, and if they don't, put up a stop sign or a light.

Steve Cassell's assessment is not one that impresses. He's about to totally trash non-problematic traffic patterns when there are problems begging to be addressed. Priorities needs to be straighten out. When people are having to get repair work done on their cars because the roads are in such bad shape, roundabouts are totally frivolous.

And what money are you planning to use when they prove--as they always do--to have been nothing more than an eager beaver's gigantic brain bumble? What then? It will cost a lot more to undo the mess.

Have you even been to Hilton Head lately? What a disaster they made with their great idea. Those roundabouts were not a problem once upon a time--back in the 60s and early 70s.

Steve, how about coming up with something a little more forward thinking? Surely there are books and giants of engineering available for consultation?

If we can spend millions on how to use a textile mill, surely we can spare a few hundred thousand on a genuine expert?

Little Lamb
45282
Points
Little Lamb 10/15/13 - 09:46 am
0
0
Hereford Farm

Columbia County just spent a lot of money re-doing the intersection of Hereford Farm Rd., Gibbs Rd., and Cox Rd. That would have been a perfect place for a roundabout because of the confluence of three roads, one of them not at an 90° angle.

Did they put in a traffic circle or roundabout? No. I wonder why?

GnipGnop
11839
Points
GnipGnop 10/15/13 - 09:56 am
0
0
take that money

and repave Wrightsboro Road near Daniel Field. It's horrible. Try riding a motorcycle anywhere around there. The lanes have grooves from cars.

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 10/15/13 - 11:14 am
1
0
There's Big Ben....There's
Unpublished

There's Big Ben....There's Parliament.

Little Lamb
45282
Points
Little Lamb 10/15/13 - 11:56 am
0
0
Song

That reminds me of a song:

England swings like a pendulum do;
Bobbies on bicycles, two by two;
Westminster Abbey, the Tower, Big Ben;
The rosy red cheeks of the little children.

- - - - - - - - - - - - Roger Miller

Darby
25010
Points
Darby 10/16/13 - 12:33 am
3
0
I got on the inside lane of a roundabout (traffic circle)

around the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, many years ago. (It's very large and I was new to the way they drove there.) Took me a couple of passes to get back to my exit. It was interesting.

Still, it looks to me, especially given some of the locations mentioned, that our commissioners are just looking for a way to spend taxes and wear their big boy pants.

ScottRAB
12
Points
ScottRAB 10/16/13 - 03:37 pm
0
0
Bubba, check your facts. The

Bubba, check your facts. The project probably involves more than the intersection.

ScottRAB
12
Points
ScottRAB 10/16/13 - 03:38 pm
0
0
Know your circles

Many people confuse older styles of circular intersections with modern roundabouts. East coast rotaries, large multi-lane traffic circles (Arc D’Triumph), and neighborhood traffic circles are not modern roundabouts. If you want to see the difference between a traffic circle, a rotary (UK roundabout) and a modern roundabout (UK continental roundabout), go to http://tinyurl.com/kstate-RAB to see pictures. And here’s another site that shows the difference between an older rotary and a modern roundabout: http://tinyurl.com/bzf7qmg
The FHWA (http://tinyurl.com/fhwaRAB) has a video about modern roundabouts that is mostly accurate (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uhHzly_6lWM ).

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