Prussing to ask council to end roundabout discussion
URBANA — Mayor Laurel Prussing said she expects the city council to circle the issue no more.
A recurring discussion — now approaching 2 years old — about the city building a roundabout at the intersection of Race Street and Windsor Road is expected to end on Monday night when Prussing asks city council members to drop it.
The city council is scheduled to meet at 7 p.m. Monday in the Urbana City Building, 400 S. Vine St.
It would be the third time within the past couple years that city officials have seriously considered building a roundabout at a major intersection before backing off.
They considered a roundabout project at the intersection of Lincoln Avenue and Olympian Drive before political maneuvering by the Champaign County Board forced the council to drop the proposal.
A roundabout proposal for the intersection of Philo Road and Florida Avenue was abandoned after people with disabilities who frequent the nearby PACE Center for Independent Living said it would be difficult to cross for people in wheelchairs and those who have visual and hearing disabilities.
The city council has dwelled on the Windsor-Race roundabout proposal for years. The city even contracted with a consultant for $15,000 in 2011 to study whether the special intersection would be beneficial.
The consultant said a roundabout on Windsor Road might actually double the amount of accidents — from about two to four per year — but it would lower the number of injury-producing accidents because collisions in roundabouts are less intense.
A Windsor-Race roundabout would require a larger footprint, the consultant said. It might cost $851,000 more to construct a roundabout than it would to simply upgrade the intersection from a four-way stop to traffic signals.
City council members continued to discuss the Windsor-Race roundabout proposal every few months after that. Prussing expects to bring that to an end on Monday night.
"I think there's a consensus on the council that it costs too much," Prussing said. "And we have a lot of complaints and concerns from the public, so we're just going to stop talking about it."