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.

Sections (2):Editorials, Opinion
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parkmymeterelsewhere wrote on January 17, 2013 at 1:01 pm

The decision to not discuss roundabouts is a decision that represnets the following:

Disrespect for the taxpayer/voter who clearly have voiced a majority disapproval.

Propaganda used by the local/distant engineers that is nothing more than political falsehood.

An obvious Lobbyist transplanted from Oregon who continues to twist the truth in an effort to brainwash the taxpayer/voter.

The notion that eventually the taxpayer/voter will change their mind and succumb to the political pressure by all proponents is indicative of the disfunction of all curent political arenas in this country and the local disrespect for any citizen other than one that holds office in a governing body.

Sid Saltfork wrote on January 17, 2013 at 4:01 pm

If one is done; put it at Green, and Race where it will benefit the city subsidized hotel.  Put a statue in the center of it also.  Don't worry about the potholes.

SaintClarence27 wrote on January 18, 2013 at 11:01 am

Ooh! We should also put one at Lincoln and Florida! Oooh, and Lincoln and Green!

Sid Saltfork wrote on January 18, 2013 at 2:01 pm

Urbana should help itself out with one way streets all going to downtown Urbana.  I lived in Urbana for close to thirty years.  The decisions made by the city were beyond belief.  Urbana had to be first in every trend at the expense of the citizens.  Urbana passed a leaf burning ordinance five years before Champaign passed one.  Of course; the prevailing winds are from the west, and northwest in the fall.  We bought bags, loaded them, and waited for the city to pick them up.  When they fell over in the wind; we raked, and bagged again.  In the meantime, we breathed the smoke from Champaign.  The streets were in the same shape that they are now.  Snow removal on side streets was a joke.  Nothing has changed in the twelve years since I moved except that the crime has increased, and downtown Urbana has deteriorated more.

SaintClarence27 wrote on January 18, 2013 at 2:01 pm

I think it all started with the installation of parking meters at Lincoln Square. Really, I would be fine with the complete doing-away with all meters off of campus.

ROB McCOLLEY wrote on January 24, 2013 at 6:01 am
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Hey, so I went through a roundabout in Lincoln, NE yesterday.  It took an extra 30-40 seconds. Why? Because someone got stuck. Obviously had no idea what to do. The guy in front of me was just about to get out of his SUV, and go explain it to the stymied driver ...

 

 

(It's at 40.778624,-96.663283 -- colloquially known as 40th & Sheridan -- if you're curious)