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Round-a-bouts

Round-a-bouts

Postby Happy Mom » Fri Oct 01, 2010 7:47 am

Ironwood-Auten roundabout plan draws fire
Residents ask county officials to rethink project.


By ERIN BLASKO
Tribune Staff Writer

CLAY TOWNSHIP — County officials received an earful Thursday from residents opposed to a proposed roundabout at Ironwood and Auten roads north of South Bend.

Part of a long-term plan to widen Ironwood from Cleveland Road to State Line Road, the estimated $2.5 million project would improve the intersection by replacing the existing four-way stop with a single-lane roundabout.

The 26 people who gathered at Clay Fire Territory Station 2 to discuss the project expressed opposition to it, based upon concerns about cost and safety and the impact on property values.

As designed by the Troyer Group of Mishawaka, construction of the roundabout would require acquisition by the county of about 6.9 acres of land from property owners on both roads.

Barring any delays, work would begin sometime next spring, with a completion date of mid-2012.

"Has there been any study of just putting up a stoplight ... and taking less property from these people?" one woman asked.


"Actually, we did look at both alternatives," county Engineer Jessica Clark said, referring to a traffic signal versus a roundabout, "and no matter what we do there are still impacts. We still have right-of-way impacts, it just varies where impacts occur."

Clark said the county abandoned the idea of a traffic signal early on because it would have required at least two relocations, whereas the roundabout does not require any. :?

"How hard is it going to be for buses to get around (the roundabout) and firetrucks?" another man asked.

"We have a study from the Troyer Group showing the largest apparatus we have, the ladder truck, can maneuver through the intersection," a representative from Clay Fire Territory said.

Though not intended for truck traffic, Ryan Clark, an engineer with the Troyer Group, said the roundabout would be able to accommodate a variety of large vehicles, including semi-trucks and plow trucks.

Dan Rupert, who owns property on Auten west of the intersection, wondered why the county would want to build any more roundabouts considering most motorists do not know how to use them.

"At what point did intersection improvement turn into roundabout?" he asked. "... I drive these circles all over St. Joseph County every day, and let me tell you, this is comedy for Jay Leno."

Citing studies that show roundabouts improve traffic flow and reduce the number of severe accidents, Ryan Clark attempted to respond but made it only so far before residents started shouting, "Wrong! Wrong!"

Responding to concerns about the project, Commissioner Andy Kostielney, R-District 1, said afterward that the county would take a look at other possible options for the intersection, including installation of a traffic signal.

"Personally," he said, "I'd like to see what the possibility would be of adding a couple of turn lanes, what kind of impact that would have from a land acquisition standpoint and whether that would take care of the issue."

Tom Potter, who owns 22 acres at the northeast corner of Auten and Ironwood, said he plans to pursue legal action if the county does not abandoned the roundabout. He stands to lose about 3.5 acres because of the project.

"I'm definitely doing it," he said, "because it's going to completely wipe out my property. I have no choice; I've got to do it."


Staff writer Erin Blasko:
eblasko@sbtinfo.com
574-235-6187





Latest Comments on 'Ironwood-Auten roundabout plan draw...'


Mayflower
Joined: Aug 11 2009
Posts: 62

Posted: Oct 01 2010 7:31 am
Subject: Re: Ironwood-Auten roundabout plan dr ...
I laugh everytime that I go through the roundabout on Portage that goes to one lane after it gets through with no warnings to the people in the lanes!! When you see things like that, you really start questioning the leadership of the area.

Informed Citizen
Joined: Jul 28 2009
Posts: 519

Posted: Oct 01 2010 7:32 am
Subject: Re: Ironwood-Auten roundabout plan dr ...
"Citing studies that show roundabouts improve traffic flow and reduce the number of severe accidents, Ryan Clark attempted to respond but made it only so far before residents started shouting, "Wrong! Wrong!""

I'm assuming the dimwits who interrupted Mr. Clark had studies of their own to support their childish outbursts.


Informed Citizen
Joined: Jul 28 2009
Posts: 519

Posted: Oct 01 2010 7:33 am
Subject: Re: Ironwood-Auten roundabout plan dr ...
"I laugh everytime that I go through the roundabout on Portage that goes to one lane after it gets through with no warnings to the people in the lanes!! When you see things like that, you really start questioning the leadership of the area."

All area roundabouts are two lanes to allow truck traffic. The only poor assumption is that area drivers are actually smart enough (and lack enough ego) to know how to merge.

http://sbtinfo.com/article/20101001/New ... 10316/1130
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Re: Round-a-bouts

Postby Informed Citizen » Fri Oct 01, 2010 8:07 am

Upon further reflection, I'm starting to think St. Joseph County drivers and residents may, in fact, be too stupid to use roundabouts.

Although the same song and dance was went through for Cleveland-Bittersweet, and I don't hear too many people complaining about that anymore.
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Re: Round-a-bouts

Postby Happy Mom » Fri Oct 01, 2010 8:22 am

I love round-a-bouts when they are done correctly. The one at Notre Dame on Douglas Rd. is an example. It is amazing to me that there are still people who don't know how to use them, either not yielding or too timid to pull out... :shock:
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Re: Round-a-bouts

Postby bob_rx2000 » Fri Oct 01, 2010 8:57 am

Happy Mom wrote:I love round-a-bouts when they are done correctly. The one at Notre Dame on Douglas Rd. is an example. It is amazing to me that there are still people who don't know how to use them, either not yielding or too timid to pull out... :shock:


Sadly, you can't fix stupid.
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Re: Round-a-bouts

Postby backstagedee » Fri Oct 01, 2010 9:02 am

bob_rx2000 wrote:
Sadly, you can't fix stupid.


I like well executed rounders. I especially love the look of fear on other dirvers faces when I enter one with my 12 year old snowplow truck... I've yet to be cut off.
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Re: Round-a-bouts

Postby Buck Wheat » Fri Oct 01, 2010 9:03 am

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Re: Round-a-bouts

Postby Informed Citizen » Fri Oct 01, 2010 9:23 am

Apparently some of the audience members got personal against those presenting. Pathetic.

And they threatened Andy Kostielney that he wouldn't get elected again should this go through as planned. You really think Dave Nufer is going to get your back on this?

Use some brains, people.
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Re: Round-a-bouts

Postby raycyrx » Sun Oct 03, 2010 7:21 am

I was originally an opponent of roundabouts. However after using them quite often, I really like them. Granted, there are still idiots out there who don't know how to use them. Then again, there are idiots who shouldn't get a license at all based on how they drive.

The fact is, they DO allow traffic to continue flowing much more than lights or stop signs. The also are much safer than traditional T-intersections due to the reduced speed at which accidents can occur. They're also fun to drive.

"My concern with the roundabout there is the very steep incline that leads up to it from Ironwood."


Agreed this is a major concern. All I can think of is that they're going to acquire enough land to re-grade the approach.


"There is not that much traffic going through there to justify the expense. "


Try going through during rush hour.


"Because some folks are too dense to learn how to navigate a roundabout does not mean it's a bad idea. "


BINGO! The worst I've seen is a school bus going around the wrong way, and a Transpo bus dropping off a passenger IN the circle. Such drivers are hazzards regardless of the presence of a roundabout.

I've yet to be cut off.


I often take the inner lane, and get cut off almost every time. Drivers need to learn to pick a lane and hold it. The designs could also be better by NOT having two lanes in a circle that really isn't big enough for more than one.
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Re: Round-a-bouts

Postby backstagedee » Sun Oct 03, 2010 9:26 am

I often take the inner lane, and get cut off almost every time. Drivers need to learn to pick a lane and hold it. The designs could also be better by NOT having two lanes in a circle that really isn't big enough for more than one.


I think the 2 lane rounders add just enough confusion to send marginal drivers into a panic. Unless there is a real compelling reason for the inner lane, I feel that most of them could be nearly as effective with a single lane.
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Re: Round-a-bouts

Postby Happy Mom » Sun Oct 17, 2010 9:39 pm

Rollover accident in South Bend roundabout
Speed and alcohol are a dangerous combination behind the wheel, and police believe it's what led to a rollover accident in South Bend this morning that sent one person to the hospital.
Reporter: The Associated Press
Email Address: jeff.kew@wndu.com



Speed and alcohol are a dangerous combination behind the wheel, and police believe it's what led to a rollover accident in South Bend this morning that sent one person to the hospital.

It happened around 4:30 a.m. at the roundabout intersection of Douglas Rd. and Twyckenham Dr. Authorities believe the car involved struck the median, then hit a curb and rolled over for thirty to forty feet before coming to a stop.

County dispatch tells us they believe there was only one person in the car. That person was transported to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

http://www.wndu.com/localnews/headlines ... 32114.html
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