Archive for Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Traffic calming circle in University Place neighborhood will stay for now

September 6, 2011


A temporary traffic calming circle in the University Place neighborhood will remain, despite objections from some residents who say it is creating unsafe driving conditions.

Lawrence city commissioners at their meeting on Tuesday agreed that a traffic calming circle at 17th and Illinois streets should not be removed. About 20 residents of the neighborhood had signed a petition asking for its removal because they said it confused motorists and often created dangerous turning movements.

But commissioners also heard from neighbors who said the device was partially doing its job by slowing down motorists who travel through the neighborhood, which is between Kansas University and 19th Street.

Commissioners side with the city Traffic Safety Commission, which previously had said the device should remain in place unless a more detailed study was done on its removal.

Commissioners, though, said they understood how the traffic circle was bothersome to some residents. The device was installed in 2004 as a temporary traffic calming circle until the city could fund a more permanent traffic calming project for the neighborhood. Funding for much of that project never materialized, and four of the “temporary” devices remain in place in the neighborhood.

Citywide there are more than a dozen unfunded traffic calming projects. Commissioners directed staff members to review that list, prioritize the projects and come back with suggestions on a funding plan. Many of the devices are expected cost $20,000 to $50,000 to construct.


oletimer 6 years, 8 months ago

There is absolutely nothing "calming" about circles or roundabouts. They are confusing, dangerous, and a waste of money. The only folks that like these are the ones that bull their way through cutting off everyone else. These things are a menace to society, and wasteful in money spent.

akuna 6 years, 8 months ago

Can't teach and oletimer a new trick, eh?

Roundabouts, when placed correctly, are great for creating more efficient and safer traffic patterns. Look at the success of the roundabout at 19th and Connecticut. The throughput went from 108 vehicles per hour to 180 vehicles per hour... and I have never heard of a crash there since it has been in place. (I'm sure there has been one, but I've never seen or heard of one.)

Roundabouts are great. They provide quick travels. They don't require stopping only yielding. They cut travel time down. They allow cars to keep moving which is more energy efficient. If they are too confusing, go back to drivers education or watch a good youtube video on how to navigate roundabouts. They are very easy to use.

That being said, the "roundabouts" in the University Place neighborhood are horrible. They are giving roundabouts a bad name. That neighborhood is much better suited for speed humps. Remove the roundabouts and put in a better solution so all of the oletimers can stop complaining about them being a "menace" to society. Bah.

gsxr600 6 years, 8 months ago

Solution: speed humps in the roundabout. Surely this is a genius idea.

LHS56 6 years, 8 months ago

Agree with akuna. Well...except for the roundabout on Clinton Parkway. Taking a four lane 45 mph...into a two lanes is not safe. (Would use a few other descriptive words but if you've driven this area you have your own idea.) The University Place ones were temporary. didn't work. Remove them and try the speed bump. One seems to work in the 1800 block of Louisiana.

conservative 6 years, 8 months ago

Roundabouts are good things when built to the proper scale. Trying to shoehorn them into existing intersections without expanding them makes them dangerous. There needs to be enough space between a car is exiting and where the next entrance is to determine if the car is going to exit or continue around the roundabout. Otherwise cars end up stopping at the yield sign because they can't tell if the car will be there when they enter.

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