Friday, July 17, 2015

A Roundabout Solution

Intersection of Triangle and East Pleasant Streets will go the way of roundabout

The Public Works Committee will hold a public unveiling next month of the plans for a new roundabout at the north end of downtown immediately adjacent to the new five-story, mixed-use (mostly residential) Kendrick Place.

 Click to enlarge/view

The new plans call for a slight taking ("by gift, purchase and/or eminent domain")  of property from Bank of America and a sliver of property from Kendrick Park, owned by the town.  But no taking of property from Jeff Brown.

 Failed to acquire two-thirds vote

In the Spring of 2014 Town Meeting turned down a general request for easements over nearby parcels but that vote required a two-thirds majority and failed by a 79 (yes) to 62 (No) vote.

In addition to the 8/20 meeting The Public Works Committee will hold one additional meeting three months later and will then make their recommendation to the Amherst Select Board, keepers of the public way.

The PWC has already voted previously to support a roundabout at that location, as long as it is state funded.

The state did provide $1.5 million MassWorks grant to bury utility lines in the immediate area (happening this summer) as long as the town provided matching funds in the form of improvements to that intersection.

Public Works Committee meeting last night


Walter Graff said...

I'll be the roundabout
The words will make you out 'n' out
I spend the day your way
Call it morning driving thru the sound and in and out the valley


Anonymous said...

I have to say this would be a good idea. That intersection is tough to navigate. But what would they do with the crosswalks, that is a popular area to cross the street too.

Larry Kelley said...

The crosswalks are in red (brick pavers).

Anonymous said...

Do you know that you spelled public as pubic? You made my weekend start with laughter.

Larry Kelley said...

Yeah, I've done that about five times now.

Paging Dr. Freud.

Anonymous said...

first time I have ever seen the word "yes" in a Graff post

Anonymous said...

Roundabout great idea. Those (brick pavers) crosswalks don't hold up to vehicles very well. Look at all the other ones in town

Anonymous said...

Whoever designed this needs to take trip over the Rte 116 "NOTCH" and visit Rte 116 in Granby and learn how to run bike lanes through town - and this roundabout!

Anonymous said...

Just curious how people are supposed to cross the street on foot. Roundabouts are about keeping traffic moving. They're not usually used in areas that mix cars and foot traffic.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 5:47- Have you driven the roundabout at Eastman/ N Pleasant? Lots of pedestrians in that area and it works well!

Anonymous said...

Video of the Eastman/ N Pleasant Roundabout in action:

Anonymous said...

This roundabout will be ten times busier.

Anonymous said...

I am kinda confused, why aren't we putting roundabouts at the end of each driveway? Or two?

Aren't there unproductive and uncreative people we need to make busy work for, one or two roundabouts in town will only keep them busy for a few years, they may have to resort to fixing potholes.

It takes 20-30 years of busy work to make a fake public service career, that the rest of us work 40-50 years to finance. Therefor we need more roundabouts.

Larry Kelley said...

Give me your address and I'll see what I can do.

Anonymous said...

Hello 10:02
What is your highly productive private sector job that allows you to be web surfing and commenting at 10:02 am on a Monday?

Anonymous said...

The protocol of roundabouts is that once a car or a stream of cars is in the roundabout no traffic is permitted to enter and must yield. There is too much of a steady traffic flow through this intersection to provide fair access to all directions of travel. This intersection is dysfunctional for sure, but removing traffic lights will only make things worse.

Money is better spent improving turning lanes and installing new "smart" traffic lights.

Anonymous said...

Not everyone works first shift. Seems obvious to me

Peter said...

This will be going to town meeting for funding in the Fall, so it is meaningful to comment.

Rotaries are great in light traffic, and the Eastman lane one has about as much traffic as one can handle without getting into multiple lanes. But the problem with the construction is a major item. It would be necessary to move traffic away from East Pleasant it build the thing, and the logical route would be Northat Pleasant Street. To handle the heavier traffic for a couple of years, it would be a good idea to knock the curbs that were installed when the realignment was done, and have North Pleasant again be a straight shot from Massachusetts Ave. to the center of town. It might be a good idea to widen it to match the rest of the street, but it’s already there. And a stop sign could be installed on Triangle Street, so the traffic would move nicely. With that much traffic moved away it would be possible to install the rotary, but it would be even easier to make North Pleasant the main thoroughfare and have East Pleasant be a side road again, and, if that were done, then the rotary wouldn’t be necessary at all. The traffic at that intersection would be greatly reduced.

I think that would solve the traffic problem even better, and it would cost less, and it would be less disruptive. So let’s have North Pleasant improved the way it should have been done decades ago and leave East Pleasant as a commercial area a little way off the heaviest traffic.

Some people have other reasons why the rotary would be a bad idea, but their poor performance in heavy traffic and that improving North Pleasant would be necessary to get the thing built, makes the other matters superfluous. But it is true that it would make foot traffic, of which there is a lot through there, much more difficult, especially for older people, of whom a fair number walk through that intersection, and they vote.

The most interesting think would be finding out how to route the bike lanes, if they actually try to put in the rotary, but I doubt that money will be wasted on this, because the alternative that I suggested would be more effective and much less expensive.