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VTBIKEPEDPOLICY-L  February 2005

VTBIKEPEDPOLICY-L February 2005

Subject:

Re: Roundabouts in the News

From:

Bud Haas <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Bud Haas <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 16 Feb 2005 03:54:42 -0800

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (589 lines)

Roundabouts help to exhibit the absurdity of the huge
trucks we allow on our old New England roads. After
watching a tractor and trailer negotiate the
Montpelier roundabout, the tractor way up on the
sidewalk to start, then the trailer dragged across the
center as it followed around. Of course the rig would
probably have done a similar dance turning left at a
square intersection, but watching at the roundabout
made it clear.
Sooner or later, we'll make these huge trucks transfer
their loads to appropriate size trucks, for delivery
to the end destination. While building roundabouts, we
should be building transfer stations at every
interstate exit. The big rigs are too big for Vermont.
Too big for Vt roads, too big for Vt villages, and too
big for Vt roundabouts.
Bud Haas
--- Tony Redington <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> First, a fully designed roundabout was not installed
> and there is no
> case in this country where a roundabout has been
> installed and then
> removed to date.  Will be replying to this editorial
> later this week.
> When installed all US surveys show about 85%
> positive/neutral
> support for the roundabout over what was there
> before.
>
> Incidentally, this is the breakout year--two
> roundabouts in Keene (one
> on Main Street at the Post Office/College and the
> other at the busiest
> intersection on they bypass), the downtown Winooski
> roundie, and the
> five pack at the Malta exit on the Northway.
> Montpelier's second goes
> to contract this year and construction in Spring
> 2006.  Both Keene
> major roundabouts taking about 12 months from public
> hearing to full
> construction and operation.
>
> Remember, these roundabouts erase congestion, cut
> delay, reduce
> driver stress, cut air pollution and gasoline use,
> improve the scenic
> quality, cost less, cut disabling injuries by 90
> percent for ped and car
> occupants, and receive public approval by a large
> margin.
>
>
>
>
> On 10 Feb 2005 at 13:18, William E. Flender wrote:
>
> > Sadly, not everyone likes roundabouts.
> >
> >  From Channel 5:
> >
> > Williston Roundabout
> > Wednesday, February 9, 2005
> > Round and round and round again.
> >
> > There used to be a roundabout here.... gone now,
> because it was too
> > small, the street's too narrow, and people hated
> it. Now, the people who
> > hate the Circ highway think roundabouts are the
> answer for Williston.
> > They're wrong.
> >
> > The Vermont Smart Growth Collaborative wants
> roundabouts all the way
> > from Exit 12 to the five Corners in Essex. They
> say we won't need the
> > Circ if we do that. Never mind that the
> intersections are narrow, that
> > this is just another brainstorm from folks who
> want to stop the Circ at
> > any cost. This idea reeks of consultants and
> so-called traffic planners
> > who won't ever have to use a roundabout to get
> from here to there.
> >
> > That doesn't matter: The folks who hate the Circ
> highway probably don't
> > want you to drive anyway. They'd rather see us all
> in Conestoga wagons,
> > meandering through the verdant fields, without
> those horseless carriages
> > making noise and causing trouble. That way, when
> we circle the wagons,
> > the roundabouts will be there to help.
> >
> > That's our opinion. What's yours?
> >
> > Aired by President/General Manager Paul A. Sands
> >
> > Copyright 2005 by TheChamplainChannel.com. All
> rights reserved. This
> > material may not be published, broadcast,
> rewritten or redistributed.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Peter K Duval wrote:
> > > For more than a decade, Tony Redington has been
> persistently promoting
> > > roundabouts in Vermont.  Because of Tony's
> efforts, the Bike/Ped Coalition
> > > has co-sponsored many workshops on roundabouts
> and their role in improving
> > > the conditions for biking and walking.  So it
> was a real treat to see a big
> > > picture of Tony above the fold on the front page
> of Monday's Burlington Free
> > > Press (7 Feb 2005), and this after some positive
> reporting by Peter Freyne
> > > in Seven Days.  Two articles by Candy Page and
> one by Peter Freyne are
> > > pasted below.
> > >
> > >
> > > Peter K. Duval           +1 (802) 899-1132
> > > 25 Pine Ridge Road           fax: 899-1132
> > > Underhill, Vermont 05489
> > > USA                    www.uvm.edu/~pduval
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > A ROUNDABOUT DEBATE
> > > 7 February 2005
> > >  By Candace Page
> > > Free Press Staff Writer
> > >
> > > Opponents of the Circumferential Highway last
> week tapped into a trend as
> > > hot as hybrid cars when they proposed installing
> a series of roundabouts on
> > > Vermont 2A instead of building the Circ.
> > >
> > > Highway departments from New York to Alaska have
> begun to replace
> > > conventional traffic-light controls with the
> circular intersections as a way
> > > to handle more traffic, more smoothly and
> safely.
> > >
> > > Roundabout advocates speak with the passion of
> cult members. On dozens of
> > > Web sites, they recount the dramatic reduction
> in serious accidents and
> > > acceleration of traffic flow in places such as
> Vail, Colo., Lisbon, Md., and
> > > Brattleboro, Vt.
> > >
> > > "I'm glad to talk to anybody about roundabouts!"
> traffic engineering
> > > professor Gene Russell of Kansas State
> University enthused. "Roundabouts are
> > > the safest, most efficient intersection traffic
> control we have today."
> > >
> > > In Vermont, the Smart Growth Collaborative
> believes a roundabout solution
> > > can untangle the seemingly endless battle over
> completing the Circ Highway
> > > ring road through Chittenden County.
> > >
> > > First, they will have to overcome public and
> official skepticism about
> > > roundabouts in general.
> > >
> > > "Roundabouts aren't the cure-all," warned Senate
> Transportation Chairman
> > > Dick Mazza, D-Chittenden-Grand Isle.
> > >
> > > A roundabout replaces traffic lights with a
> counter-clockwise circulation of
> > > traffic around a center island. Approaching cars
> must yield to vehicles
> > > already in the roundabout, then drive around the
> circle until they reach
> > > their exit.
> > >
> > > A roundabout moves more cars per hour through an
> intersection than
> > > conventional intersections because vehicles
> never have to stop. Fewer
> > > accidents occur because traffic is moving slowly
> and there are fewer
> > > possible points of contact between two cars.
> > >
> > > Roundabouts are common in Europe but were rare
> in the United States until
> > > the 1990s. No one is sure how many have been
> built here -- more than 800,
> > > Russell estimates -- and hundreds more are
> planned.
> > >
> > > "A roundabout is the first thing you do to deal
> with traffic congestion,"
> > > said transportation planner Tony Redington of
> Montpelier. "It takes the glue
> > > out of all these mucked up intersections. It's
> the jack of all trades -- and
> > > master of all."
> > >
> > > The proposed Chittenden County roundabouts would
> be installed in a series of
> > > six along a widened Vermont 2A between
> Interstate 89 and the Five Corners in
> > > Essex Junction. The cost would be about $20
> million, less than half the cost
> > > of the $52 million Circ through Williston.
> > >
> > > 'A wonderful thing'
> > >
> > > Mark Rountree, general manager of Rountree Ford,
> a Brattleboro auto
> > > dealership, has a beef about the roundabout
> installed in 1999 at the busy
> > > U.S. 5/Vermont 9 intersection outside his
> business.
> > >
> > > "When we had a traffic light there, people had
> to stop and they looked at my
> > > cars while they waited. Now they don't have to
> stop. You can't pay attention
> > > to my business when you are driving through a
> roundabout," he said.
> > >
> > > He has put his finger on the magic of a
> roundabout, experts said: Cars never
> > > have to stop at well-designed roundabout. Long
> lines and waiting times
> > > evaporate.
> > >
> > > Rountree has seen it happen.
> > >
> > > "It's a wonderful thing once it's built -- it
> moves traffic incredibly," he
> > > said. Before the roundabout was installed, cars
> leaving Interstate 91 would
> > > back up onto the interstate while they waited to
> get through the U.S. 5
> > > intersection.
> > >
> > > "Traffic on U.S. 5 was at a saturation point,"
> Redington said.
> > >
> > > Fewer injuries
> > >
> > > Brattleboro traffic no longer backs up onto
> I-91. Cars on U.S. 5 seldom must
> > > wait to get through the intersection.
> > >
> > > The intersection had averaged 11 accidents with
> injuries in each of the five
> > > years before the roundabout was built, Redington
> said, but there were no
> > > accidents with injuries in the first 27 months
> it operated.
> > >
> > > Brattleboro Police Chief John Martin did not
> have figures available, but
> > > agreed there have been no serious accidents at
> the roundabout, where fatal
> > > accidents had previously occurred. He said he
> believes fender-bender
> > > accidents may have increased.
> > >
> > > "It is incredibly efficient at handling cars --
> it moves large volumes of
> > > traffic," he said.
> > >
> > > Americans have greeted roundabouts with
> skepticism, in part, proponents say,
> > > because people confuse modern roundabouts with
> old-fashioned, ineffective
> > > traffic circles that aren't engineered for
> safety and smooth flow.
> > >
> > > The Vermont Agency of Transportation used to
> share that skepticism. Windham
> > > Regional Commission Director Jim Matteau said
> the agency first resisted the
> > > community's interest in a roundabout in the
> mid-1990s.
> > >
> > > Today, state law requires the agency to consider
> roundabouts as a solution
> > > to some traffic problems.
> > >
> > > Bruce Nyquist, traffic design project manager at
> the agency, said
> > > roundabouts are planned for a difficult
> intersection in Waterbury and at the
> > > I-89 northbound off-ramp in Richmond. They are
> being considered for a U.S. 5
> > > intersection in Hartford and at the junction of
> U.S. 302 and Vermont 110 in
> > > East Barre, a high-accident intersection.
> > >
> > > A roundabout is part of the design for
> Winooski's downtown renewal project.
> > >
> > > Russell said it's been rare in the United States
> thus far to install a
> > > series of roundabouts to control traffic on a
> long stretch of road, as
> > > proposed for Williston and Essex.
> > >
> > > "But there's no reason it shouldn't work," he
> said.
> > >
> > > Contact Candace Page at 660-1865 or e-mail
> [log in to unmask]
> > > Free Press
> > >
> > >
> > > LOCALS SKEPTICAL ABOUT ROUNDABOUT SOLUTION
> > >
> > >  By Candace Page
> > > Free Press Staff Writer
> > >
> > > A number of opinion leaders in Chittenden County
> met last week's proposed
> > > alternatives to the Circumferential Highway with
> deep skepticism.
> > >
> > > Their doubts were compounded of wariness of
> roundabouts as a
> > > traffic-handling device and concerns about
> whether the proposed alternatives
> > > would meet their private or local government
> goals.
> > >
> > > At IBM in Essex Junction, the region's largest
> private employer, spokesman
> > > Jeff Couture said at first look it appears the
> proposal would not solve the
> > > traffic congestion that is a "potential
> roadblock to any future IBM growth."
> > >
> > > In particular, he said, the Smart Growth
> Collaborative's chief proposal --
> > > widening Vermont 2A between Essex Junction and
> Williston -- focuses only on
> > > traffic coming to Essex from the south.
> > >
> > > That would not help the majority of IBM
> employees, who live north of the
> > > plant and must use congested roads north of the
> village, he said.
> > >
> > > The Circ Highway, on the other hand, would be a
> limited-access ring road
> > > through central Chittenden County, so those
> employees could get on -- north
> > > or south -- and use an exit dedicated to IBM, he
> said.
> > >
> > > "We have to look at it more deeply, but it
> appears to meet some of our
> > > needs, not all of them," Couture said.
> > >
> > > Essex Junction leaders are dubious about a
> roundabout, they told the state
> > > Transportation Agency last year.
> > >
> > > "The village of Essex Junction has resisted the
> idea of a roundabout at the
> > > Five Corners intersection because of concerns
> over the aesthetic impact it
> > > would have on our village center and public
> safety (i.e., pedestrians,
> > > bicyclists, etc.) We also have concerns about
> passing trains gridlocking
> > > motorists at the Five Corners," wrote Village
> Manager Charles Safford in a
> > > letter.
> > >
> > > In Williston, Selectboard Chairman Virginia
> Lyons said the town likes the
> > > Circ in part because it would take
> through-traffic off Vermont 2A, which the
> > > alternative proposal would not do.
> > >
> > > "There is a lot of residential development there
> -- we want to keep 2A more
> > > a local access road," she said.
> > >
> > > Sen. Richard Mazza, D-Chittenden-Grand Isle, who
> chairs the Senate
> > > Transportation Committee, said he is unsure that
> roundabouts can handle
> > > heavy truck traffic; roundabout experts
> disagree.
> > >
> > > Mazza also said Chittenden County cannot afford
> the delays that would be
> > > inevitable in the Vermont 2A alternative, to
> design the widened road and to
> > > acquire rights-of-way.
> > >
> > > "You'd probably take 10 to 15 years to get it
> permitted and built. Look how
> > > many years it is taking on Shelburne Road," he
> said.
> > >
> > > Lyons said there is another, more subtle,
> obstacle to seriously considering
> > > the proposals for roundabouts to solve the
> traffic problem in Williston.
> > >
> > > "We've been looking at the Circ as a problem
> solver for so long, giving an
> > > alternative an objective look is difficult," she
> said.
> > >
> > > Contact Candace Page at 660-1865 or e-mail
> [log in to unmask]
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > Peter Freyne had this to say in a recent column
> in Seven Days:
> > > BUSTER MEETS DOUGLAS
> > > (published 02.02.05)
> > >
> > > ...
> > >
> > > Lessons Learned? -- Nobody's perfect, folks.
> Everybody makes mistakes. In
> > > politics, learning from those mistakes is a
> priceless skill that appears to
> > > be sorely lacking in the current administration.
> > >
> > > When it comes to transportation, no bigger
> mistake stands out on the Vermont
> > > stage than the one Gov. Jim Douglas made last
> year. Douglas refused to give
> > > opponents of the Chittenden County
> Circumferential Highway the courtesy of a
> > > meeting. They even agreed to let Segments A and
> B get built without legal
> > > challenge if only Gov. Scissorhands would
> discuss alternatives to the final
> > > Colchester leg.
> > >
> > > Not a chance. Instead, Douglas signed
> construction contracts and moved full
> > > speed ahead last winter. It was as if the
> federal lawsuit did not exist!
> > >
> > > As everyone knows, the Douglas administration
> took it both on the chin and
> > > between the legs courtesy of the court. Our
> governor's team was found to be
> > > breaking long-standing federal environmental
> law. How embarrassing that it
> > > took private citizens and organizations to get
> the governor of Vermont to
> > > respect the law.
> > >
> > > This week, the Vermont Smart Growth
> Collaborative went public with a
> > > professional traffic-engineering study showing
> two alternatives to the
> > > current Circ plan that could save taxpayers $10
> to $30 million off the
> > > bottom line while making traffic flow much
> faster in the Rte. 2A corridor.
> > >
> > > God forbid, right?
> > >
> > > In fact, check it out for yourself at
> www.vtsmartgrowth.org. Roundabouts are
> > > the key. Very interesting, cutting-edge stuff.
> > >
> > > So was the reaction from local and state highway
> officials.
> > >
> > > The Freeps reported Vermont's new Transportation
> Secretary Dawn Terrill
> > > immediately accused the collaborative of trying
> to "circumvent" the highway
> > > planning process by going public with its ideas.
> > >
> > > The new Dawn at AOT told yours truly she would
> have liked to have had a
> > > conversation with the Circ opponents before they
> went to the press.
> > >
> > > But Seven Days has learned that the critics have
> been trying to meet with
> > > the Douglas administration since December.
> Attorney Brian Dunkiel, a member
> > > of the brilliant legal team that won last May,
> said they contacted
> > > Administration Secretary Mike Smith's office in
> December in hopes of a
> > > meeting. Dunkiel said they expected their
> finding -- that more efficient
> > > alternatives could save tens of millions in
> project costs -- would be of
> > > interest during state budget preparations.
> > >
> > > They expected wrong.
> > >
> > > The chairmen of House and Senate Transportation
> committees, however, have
> > > met with the collaborative, said Dunkiel. So
> have IBM officials in Essex
> > > Junction. But both the Douglas administration
> and the pro- Circ Metropolitan
> > > Planning Organization have rebuffed their
> advances.
> > >
> > > Yes, indeed, nothing like learning from one's
> mistakes, eh?
> > >
> > >
> > > By the Way -- The City of Burlington wasn't the
> only Chittenden County
> > > community to vote "no" on the pro-Circ 2025
> Metropolitan Transportation Plan
> > > last week. According to Bill Knight, executive
> director of the CCMPO,
> > > Hinesburg did, too.
> > >
> > > Four other communities did not vote either way.
> > >
> > > Interesting.
> > >
> > > BUSTER MEETS DOUGLAS
> > > Inside Track By Peter Freyne
> > > Seven Days
> > > (published 02.02.05)
> > > ...
> > >
> > > ==========
> > > VTBIKEPEDPOLICY-L: The Vermont Bicycle and
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> > >
> >
> > ==========
> > VTBIKEPEDPOLICY-L: The Vermont Bicycle and
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> > Subscription control:
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> > For help: email [log in to unmask] with the
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> ==========
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> Subscription control:
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