Sunday, June 9, 2013

County Wants Traffic Circles For HWY 13

Fairhope, Alabama

GRANT MONEY SOUGHT

The Baldwin County Highway Department wants the city to partner with it to construct roundabouts at  two congested intersections along HWY 13 east of town -- at Fairhope Ave. and Gayfer Rd.

Gayfer currently has a 4 way stop and Fairhope a 2 way.

80% of the cost is to be funded by a state ATRIP grant and the remaining 20% shared by the county/city -- if the grant is approved.

Each intersection currently handles about 15,000 cars a day, according to county engineer Cal Market. Market noted the continuous flow and lack of delays provided by roundabouts -- vs. the alternatives: traffic signals or stop signs.

The Fairhope Ave. intersection is partly (1/2) within city limits;  Gayfer Rd. is outside.

ROUNDABOUTS ALREADY  IN MOBILE AND DAPHNE

In a similar arrangement, the county is currently partnering with the city of Daphne to install one on Hwy 13 --  at the Hwy 64 (Daphne Rd.) intersection.

Daphne previously installed a roundabout (in 2010) at the Pollard /Whispering Pines Rd. intersection (click); and Mobile County the same year at the Dawes/Grelot Rd intersection (click).

VETERANS DRIVE ROUNDABOUT RESURRECTED?

In an unrelated project, the on-again, off-again roundabout for  the N. Section St. / Hwy 104 intersection that was approved in conjunction with the Village North PUD project back in 2001  appears to be back on track -- in conjunction with other improvements planned for that area.

ROUNDABOUT ADVANTAGES

Although they may cost more to install initially than traffic signals, roundabouts are touted as a superior way to keep traffic flowing -- and prevent deadly 'T-bone' wrecks.

Some citizens prefer the more traditional methods, worrying roundabouts are something new -- and may be confusing for inexperienced and older drivers to learn how to use.

Other citizens complain about the ever-growing wait times at traffic signals around town, particularly Greeno Rd. and its side streets.

COUNCIL MUST DECIDE

The city council must decide to partner applying for the grant -- and then to proceed if the grant is eventually awarded.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

"and may be confusing for inexperienced and older drivers to learn how to use."

Well, that's the majority of drivers in Fairhope...

Benny said...

The worst case would be a traffic light at every intersection. hurry up an stop.

Anonymous said...

I really hate the roundabout on Whispering Pines and avoid that area whenever possible. As the above commenter pointed out, Fairhope does have a large population of both inexperienced and older drivers. I'm neither, but understand very well how confusing, and therefore dangerous these can be. On the other hand, trying to get onto Fairhope Ave from anywhere is a pain. Keep thinking Councilmen. There has GOT to be a better solution than this!

Anonymous said...

The rest of the world has used roundabouts for over fifty years. It's such a tired old song when people jump up and say how confusing a roundabout is to navigate. Give me a break. There's only one option when you approach a roundabout — TURN RIGHT.

If I have a choice of sitting all by myself for two minutes at a traffic signal with no other cars in any direction, or moving through the roundabout, I'll take the roundabout any day.

Anonymous said...

Gayfer Ave. has a four way stop. You pull up to the stop sign, stop, look to make sure no other vehicles are coming, and then you drive. Not that much of a wait at all. If you are in too much of a hurry to stop at a stop sign, maybe you should be driving on I-10. Fairhope Ave. is another story & should be addressed. Yes, the traffic light timing seems to be off but couldn't they fix that?

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a great idea to me. We have been going around in circles for years in the village. The question is....will we be able to teach the rehired cops how to enforce it?

Anonymous said...

Those people that can't figure out the roundabout are the same ones that were confused by the pedestrian crossing signs and have no business behind the wheel of an automobile.

Anonymous said...

Those that can....can those that Kant vote Kant!!!!

Anonymous said...

What does the Public Works Director think of this plan? She is the "professional" for the City?

......waiting for a response...ask daddy Kant then responed...

Anonymous said...

I'm glad we have a mayor and city council that works together to solve problems -- for a change.

Anonymous said...

You meant to say a Council that does exactly what the King says to do....no check and balances...only alot of checking writing.

Anonymous said...

I lived in Europe while in the military and the roundabouts were very effective. They are simple...approach, look left, if clear to the left, proceed to the right, if not, wait until clear and then proceed to the right. When you are exiting the roundabout, use your right turn signal.

Anonymous said...

From time to time, I like to get a group of 8-10 friends to follow me up to Daphne so we can line up and ride around in the round a bout. It's fun to pass by the same cars over and over waiting to get in. Now we can stay in Fairhope and freak out the old people. Oh glorious day!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Like the last comment. Let me know how to sign up!!!!