Going around in circles
After months of going round and round on the pros and cons, Mayor Laurel Prussing has pulled the plug on the "roundabout" debate.
There will be no roundabouts in Urbana, at least for a while.
City officials have discussed three different locations for building roundabouts, most recently at the intersection of Race Street and Windsor Road.
But concerns about costs, feasibility and safety always seemed to undermine Mayor Laurel Prussing's effort to get one done.
Frankly, this has proven to be a very difficult issue to analyze, mostly because proponents and opponents of roundabouts both seemed to make persuasive arguments for their side.
But one thing can be said for sure — there was no consensus on which city officials could rely for guidance. Given the degree of disagreement about the issue, Prussing's decision to move on to other issues is a sensible decision.
For those who don't know, experts define a roundabout as a type of circular intersection in which traffic slows and flows almost continuously in one direction around a central island to several exits onto the intersecting roads.
Proponents say they eliminate opportunities for crashes at intersections.
One study, however, estimated that a roundabout on Windsor Road would increase the number of accidents per year from two to four, but contended the accidents would be less serious.
So there you go — six of one and half a dozen of another.
This issue of roundabouts is sure to come up again, but not until local officials get around to it. Don't hold your breath.