Urbana to revisit proposal to install roundabouts
URBANA — City council members will continue their discussion of installing roundabouts at two key intersections when they meet Monday night.
The proposal to rebuild the Windsor Road/Race Street and Florida Avenue/Philo Road crossings with the non-traditional style of intersection has drawn much public comment on both sides during the past several months: Some say roundabouts would be a boost for traffic safety while others have used the added cost of construction as a deal-breaker.
The council will meet at 7 p.m. Monday in the Urbana City Building, 400 S. Vine St.
The discussion on roundabouts is another in a series of meetings that have revolved around the topic. During the last two talks, a contingent of people with visual and physical disabilities have told the council that a roundabout at the Florida/Philo intersection would be detrimental to their safety.
The PACE Center for Independent Living is near the intersection, and people with disabilities say a roundabout disrupts the tactile and audible cues they use to cross. At a January meeting, city administrators prepared options for the council on what kind of crossing signals might be included to enhance pedestrian safety.
Still, the council deferred a decision.
The debate began last year when city officials said the two intersections are due for upgrades. The traffic signals at Florida and Philo need to be replaced — an estimated $200,000 cost — and stop signs at Windsor and Race need to be replaced with lights — an estimated $210,000 cost.
Instead of moving forward with the improvements, city officials commissioned a study on whether roundabouts would be feasible. Last year, a consultant said roundabouts would make the intersections safer but would make sense financially only at Florida and Philo.
According to a city memo, a roundabout with added pedestrian safety features would cost $850,000 at Florida and Philo, where 28 crashes have occurred in the past six years. At Windsor and Race, where 11 crashes have occurred in six years, it would cost $1.44 million.