{ SEQ CHAPTER \h \r 1}Sketch referenced available on request. 

521 Green Street Apartment 4
San Francisco, California 94133
415-402-0832            [log in to unmask]

							February 28, 2007

Barre Mayor Thom Lauzon 
 and City Council
Barre City Hall
6 North Main Street
Barre, VT 05641

Dear Mayor Lauzon and Council:


This letter commends to the Barre City Council moving forward to 
undertake a full feasibility assessment of installing a single lane 
roundabout at the North Main Street intersection with Elm and 
Washington Streets in a design similar to that provided to the Council in 
1993 by śMr. Roundaboutť Michael Wallwork, P.E., of Jacksonville.  

This recommendation builds on a recent evaluation of the City study by 
Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc. (VHB Study, July 2005) and the June 
2005 field visit at the intersection by national roundabout leader Howard 
McCulloch, New York Department of Transportation (NYDOT), with 
Mayor Peter Anthony,  Councilor Kevin Moulton, and other local citizens. 

					What Has Changed

The chief reasons for a feasibility assessment:
	1.  VHB Study properly concluded little future change in traffic 
expected, a reflection of the slow steady decline in entering traffic dating 
from the late 1980s which continues today.  From State data, cars 
entering the intersection in 2004 were 26,150, down 5.1% from peak 
numbers, 27,500, 1986-1990.
	2.  Lack of an evaluation in the VHB Study of a roundabout at the 
intersection even though through a careful shiftr of the City Park 
monument approximately 60 feet to the east or southeast, the concept 
originally sketched by Mr. Wallwork fort he Council in 1993. 
	3.  Reviewed with McCulloch, VHB Study data shows perfectly 
balanced circulating traffic in each roundabout quadrant.  Thus, a one-
lane roundabout with space to expand to two-lane in the future“similar in 
approach at Montpelier™s one-lane roundabout in a 140-foot diameter 
circle at US 2/302“can be assessed for Barre. 
BarreCity Council 			February 28, 2007 			Page 

					Era of Traffic Growth Over

In 1993 the future of Barre traffic appeared onward and upward.  In fact, 
traffic in urban Vermont including Barre peaked in the late 1980s and 
overall has been flat or declining ever since.  The North 
Main/Elm/Washingrton Streets intersection continues to decline. 

The traffic entering the Barre intersection is almost the same as at US 
2/302 (Walker Motors) ready for construction roundabout in Montpelier, 
and at Montpelier™s Main/Memorial/Northfield/Berlin intersection (US 2/US 
BR 2/VT 12) which is also gaining renewed interest by Montpelier for a 
roundabout also likely to be examined for single lane configuration with 
provision for future conversion for two-lane operation. 
Both Montpelier intersections also have seen little change in traffic in the 
past two decades.

When Wallwork field reviewed several City intersections in 1993, traffic 
projections indicated a 30% traffic growth trend, increases which would 
challenge a two-lane roundabout capacity“growth which turns out to be 
non-existent.  Statewide, this decade may show a decline in car traffic, 
certainly no more than a percent or two increase with any increase 
concentrated on some interstate and other isolated road segments.  Fuel 
pricing trends and lack of driving age population growth (ages 20 to 60) 
over the next two decades in Vermont suggest continued flatness or 
decline in traffic numbers. 

					Roundabout Revolution Over

When Mr. Wallwork first visited Barre in 1993 there were barely a dozen 
U.S. installations of the new roundabout technology.  His design for 
Montpelier ushered in the revolution in the northeast in 1995.  The end of 
the roundabout revolution may well be marked by the policy decision by 
the NYDOT two years ago now which essentially banned further 
investments in signals thereby creating a śroundabouts onlyť policy.  
There are over 1,000 roundabouts in the U.S. now, and better than a 
roundabout opens now every day.  Vermont™s four roundabout population 
soon doubles with roundabouts at Montpelier (Walker Motors), the 
dangerous Washingrton US 302/110 intersection, White River Jct. (2), 
and Manchester Center™s two at śmalfunction junctionť (VT 11/30/7A) and 
the adjacent village center (VT 30/7A).  

Brattleboro, led by business interests, recently succeeded in getting 
major Putney Road signal conversions to roundabouts intersections into 
the State program.  Thus, Brattleboro which boasts the first U.S. 
śroundabout corridorť study (Wallwork, 1994) moves toward the first 
Vermont ścorridor of roundabouts.ť  (The first northeast ścorridor of 
roundaboutsť, five, built by NYDOT opened at the Northway Malta 
interchange last fall complete with a new multi-use paved pathway, a site 
worth a visit at the interchange just below Saratoga Springs.)  Finally, 
Keene (NH) gets its second roundabout later this 

BarreCity Council			February 28, 2007				Page 3

year (now under construction) on its busiest Bypass intersection built by 
the State with 
another (to be built with City funds) on tap later this year at its busiest 
downtown intersection on Main Street at the Post Office and Keene State 
College. .  

					Prospect Street

A roundabout treatment of North Main/Elm/Washington Streets gains a 
long term solution.  This allows a separate evaluation of North 
Main/Prospect/Church Streets.  As in the case of Manchester Center, this 
second intersection may best be converted to a mini-roundabout, a 
configuration that accommodates all vehicles operating in any direction. 

    Barre City Center 
    Transportation Benefit

The Barre City Hall Park Roundabout (BCHPR) produces a set of almost 
unbelievable transportation benefits: 
*   Cutting typical stopped “idle” delay at drive times to a few seconds 
    from a half minute or more
*   With pedestrian delay eliminated and pedestrian comfort 
    established, increases of pedestrians of 100-200% or more are 
*   Routine calculations of energy and pollution benefits will likely 
    show annual reduction of gasoline use of more than 20,000 
*   Pedestrians gain two safe crossing points to the park area without 
    any delay from traffic
*   City saves maintenance and operating costs (no electric bills for 
    signals!) and no expensive signal replacements/upgrades from 
    time to time
*   Downtown gains at least 20 curbside parking places
*   Vehicle crashes halve, pedestrian and car occupant injuries drop 
    by 90% plus injury severity decreases (NYDOT abandoned signals 
    in great part because they generate so many more injuries and 
    fatalities than roundabouts)
*   Downtown receives a major revitalization boost from a new, 
    magnificent transportation facility
*   *   Barre City Hall Park 
    Roundabout“Substantial Economic and 
    Downtown Space Benefit

*   Because a single lane roundabout abolishes the need for expansive turn 
lanes and signal structures, considerable pavement can be transformed 
to public space for landscaping, street furniture and enhancements of the 
Park Hall area.  Plus there will be the roundabout center island providing 
more green space and an opportunity for scenic treatment. Increased 
access provided to pedestrians, reduced travel times into downtown, and 
scenic enhancements mean increased economic activity in the 
surrounding neighborhood ranging from the businesses to public 
performances at the 
*   Barre City Council			February 28, 2007				Page 4

*   Opera House.  Last but not least, some of the paved area harvested can 
be added 
*   to the Park itself making even better the jewel of Barre™s downtown.
*   *   The forgoing outlines some of the immediate benefits of the City Center 
Roundabout.  In addition there are the longer term benefits which include 
enabling denser development in adjacent areas along with the resulting 
increased tax potential for the City coffers. 

*   Attached please find the 1993 Wallwork sketch, a list of references to 
related documents, and selected roundabout notes. 
*   *   In sum, a single-lane roundabout with an outside diameter of 130-140 
feet appears 
*   a real possibility and this letter urges a full scale feasibility study.  

*   Sincerely, 

*   Tony Redington 
*   Transportation Policy

*   Enclosures (4)

*   cc	Barre State Legislative Delegation 
*   Vermont Congressional Delegation 
*   Steve Gladczuk, Central Vermont Regional Planning Commission
*   Vermont Bicycle Pedestrian Coalition
*   Vermont Federal Highway Administration Division

*   ALR/ar

*   February 2007

*   *   Michael J. Wallwork, P.E., Florida Department of Transportation, 1993, 
*   concept , North Main/Elm/Washington Streets, Barre.  (Note: This 
    sketch is done on a śTOPICSť study map which also provides the 
    dimensions of the Park area including the statue dimensions, park 
    walkways, etc.)

*   Michael J. Wallwork, P.E., Florida Department of Transportation, video 
    tape of presentation on roundabouts before the Barre City Council, 
    1993 (VHS tapes in the Vermont Agency of Transportation Library)

*   Times-Argus, November 25, 2005, śBarre seeks solution to City Park 
    traffic woesť (p. C1).

*   Tony Redington, letter to the Barre City Council, December 18, 2004 
    (includes reference to June 2005 roundabout training by New York 
    Department of Transportation (NYDOT) engineer Howard 
    McCulloch on June 24, 2005).

*   Howard McCulloch of the NYDOT and Principal Engineer of NE 
    Roundabouts June 24, 2005 field visit to City Hall Park with local 
    officials including Mayor Peter Anthony, a meeting which identifies 
    need to shift the monument to afford the needed 150 foot diameter 
    space for a two-lane roundabout (further evaluation of traffic data 
    shows potential for single lane roundabout allowing a smaller 

*   Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc. (VHB) analyses documents, 2005:
*   “July 6, 2005 Memorandum śBarre City City Hall Park Alternativesť 
    [sic], Project 51670.00, Greg Bakos, P.E., Chris Obay, P.E. 
    (5 pages)  
*   “April 26, 2005 śBarre City City Park Concept Study Circulating 
Traffic Conceptť 
*   “May 18, 2004 śLanes, Volumes, Timings 6: US RTE 302 @Elm 
    Street 12/29/06" (four pages)
*   *   Tony Redington, September 30, 2005 workng paper śBarre“Dimensions 
    Related to Corner at Elm Street/North Main Street Toward Park 
    Gazeboť This document identifies a 151 diameter multilane 
    roundabout possible with a shift of the monument to the east or 
    southeast.  Two pages.   

*   Tony Redington 

*   Page one of two 


        *   śThe only good argument against the roundabout is
                *   that there are no good argumentsť

*   Barry Crown, U.K.  traffic engineer, 
    roundabout designer  and software author--
    chief roundabout advisor to the New York 
    Department of Transportation at a Keene, 
    New Hampshire presentation 

*   The roundabout applied to Barre City streets brings tremendous 
benefits from this revolutionary technology that dates from its beginning 
in 1966 in Britain. 

*   1.  TRUCK MOVEMENTS   Trucks love roundabouts.  Most turn moves 
in a roundabout are easier for a truck than at a signal.  First, roundabouts 
cut vehicle stops by 60%.  This explains how all vehicles save wear and 
tear, and why trucks love roundabouts with the time and energy savings 
of reduced stopping.   At Montpelier™s roundabout (Keck Circle) 42 tractor 
trailers daily negotiate the 107 foot diameter circular travelway --Barre 
City Hall Park Roundabout (BCHPR) would have a minimum diameter of 
130 feet.  The new Walker Motors roundabout (140 feet diameter) serves 
about 84 big trucks daily and the Brattleboro Keene Turn Roundabout 
tractor trailer numbers 900 daily.  

*   The VHB Study suggests the inability of trucks to make a left from Elm 
Street to North Main Street westbound misses the fact that such a turn is 
simple: just go around the circle and out the North Main Street west exit 
(or, if desired, back up Elm Street!).  The roundabout is a natural turn-
around mechanism, a move done quite often in Montpelier by tractor 
trailer delivery vehicles (and tour buses!) because of the narrow and 
constricted Montpelier city streets. 

*   2.  PEDESTRIANS While the 90% reduction in pedestrian injuries as well 
as severity has been well known, the impact of increasing numbers of 
roundabouts on safety performance of roundabouts in place is just 
beginning to be understood.  France increased its roundabout numbers 
from 10,000 in 1993 to 27,000 in 2003 while the actual number of 
fatalities (2) and injuries (about 1,500) remained unchanged.  The more 
roundabouts the better the performance of existing roundabouts! 

*   3.  TRAFFIC CALMING The roundabout calms traffic about a block in all 
directions or about a football field distant (300 feet).  A series of 
roundabouts, research shows, reduces vehicle speeds in a corridor while 
reducing through travel times.  The reductions of speeds in a corridor 
may explain why two roundabouts near each other may well re-enforce 
the safety benefit of both to the good. 
*   Page two of two pages


AT VERMONT™S BECK AND CALL  śMr. Roundaboutť Michael J. 
Wallwork, P.E., of Jacksonville brought the roundabout revolution to 
Vermont in 1992 and a year later to Barre.  He designed the first 
roundabout to replace a signal (Gainsville, FL) and the first roundabout in 
the northeast, Montpelier™s Keck Circle (1995).   Wallwork formerly an 
Australian engineer,  and three other roundabout leaders carried out 
about a dozen trainings over the past fourteen years.  The other 
roundabout leaders who trained Vermont engineers, public works and  
and policy people are:
*   Barry Crown, P.E., of the U.K.  Author of roundabout design and 
    capacity analysis software.  Consultant to Keene (NH), New 
    Hampshire and New York Departments of Transportation
*   Mark Lenters, P.E., of Toronto.  Designed the first Ontario 
    roundabout in Hamilton.  One of the first “native” North America 
    roundabout designers.
*   Another North American native, Howard McCulloch, Principal 
    Engineer of NE Roundabouts, Cohoes, NY, and head of the 
    roundabout unit in the NY Department of Transportation--Mr. 
    McCulloch from the beginning of the “roundabouts only” policy now 
    two years old along with his staff review all state investments in 
    intersections.  Literally hundreds of roundabouts are at various 
    stages of development in New York State. 

*   Finally Wallwork and one other engineer, Leif Ourston of Santa Barbara 
lead the early years of the roundabout revolution in North America.  
Ourston designed the first North American roundabout built in Las Vegas 
in 1990, had input to the first northeastern interstate interchange and two-
two lane roundabout (Brattleboro, 1999), and consulted with the Keene 
group that successfully forced cancellation of a bypass expansion by 
installing three roundabouts (the busiest intersection roundabout under 
construction will be operating before year end). 

*   It is fair to suggest that one or more of these individuals or their firms 
could be involved in roundabout development anywhere in Vermont, 
including Barre. 

*   Tony Redington 
*   2/28/07

VTBIKEPEDPOLICY-L: The Vermont Bicycle and Pedestrian Policy Discussion List
Subscription control:
For help: email [log in to unmask] with the word "help" in the message body.