DANVILLE — A sundae for your thoughts?
That's the new marketing ploy Danville officials have cooked up in trying to get city residents' thoughts on how to solve congestion at the four-way stop at Voorhees and Jackson streets.
Anyone who completes a four-question online survey will get a code they can cash in for a free sundae at the Dairy Queen on East Main Street — which is owned by former Danville mayor Bob Jones.
City officials hope the unique incentive leads to more input on whether they should put a roundabout at the busy intersection or build a better four-way stop there.
As part of Danville's plans to rebuild Jackson Street in the coming years, the city has come up with two separate designs for the Voorhees intersection, where vehicles stack up in all directions at certain times of the day.
One is a traditional four-way stop that would solve the alignment problems at the current intersection, where Jackson Street on the north side takes a jog to the east. The existing intersection also has narrow lines, no turn lanes and no safe way to handle the number of pedestrians who cross an intersection that's within one block of the YMCA and two blocks of Danville High School.
That option would cost about $1.3 million, according to a video that accompanies the online survey.
The second design is a roundabout in which traffic from all four directions simultaneously enters the intersection and rotates counterclockwise around a circular median, exiting the circle with right turns only.
That option would run the city about $1.1 million, according to the video.
City engineer David Schnelle says the roundabout design would move more traffic more efficiently and safely. Statistics show that roundabouts reduce the number of serious accidents at intersections, Schnelle said.
The city has sought more input from residents since 2009, when it completed the two designs and held public meetings in the neighborhood.
That's where the survey, created by the Danville Area Transportation Study, comes in. It's now available online at surveymonkey.com/s/jacksonintersection.
It asks residents whether Voorhees and Jackson would work better as a four-way stop or a roundabout, plus three other yes-or-no questions:
— Does the Jackson and Voorhees intersection have excessive delays?
— Are there too many conflicts with pedestrians and cyclists at this intersection?
— Have you ever used a roundabout intersection?
On June 29, weather permitting, DATS staff will also distribute surveys at the intersection of Voorhees and Jackson.
Surveys can also be mailed to residents who call the city's urban services and engineering department at 217-431-2321.