Letter: Roundabouts are not safer
CDOT/Jacobs Engineering (hired for the bridge project) plan to change the four-way signalized stop at Sixth and Laurel to a roundabout as part of the bridge project.
1) At the stakeholder/public bridge meetings, both CDOT and Jacobs Engineering have repeatedly said roundabouts (circles) are safer than regular intersections.
CDOT and Jacobs Engineering are incorrect in this matter.
The National Cooperative Highway Research Program’s Report 572, page 1, states: “In general, roundabouts have improved both overall crash rates and, particularly, injury crash rates in a wide range of settings (urban, suburban, and rural) for all previous forms of traffic control except for all-way stop control [a four-way stop], for which no statistically significant difference could be found.” So, a four-way stop is as safe for vehicles as a roundabout.
2) CDOT/Jacobs Engineering have also said a roundabout at Sixth and Laurel will keep vehicles moving; there’ll be no traffic backup. However, Craig Gaskill of Jacobs Engineering has stated that with the new bridge, there will be a 75 percent reduction in traffic at Sixth and Laurel; Roland Wagner of CDOT has stated that there will be a 90 percent decrease in traffic at Sixth and Laurel. Logically, there won’t be traffic to back up at a four-way intersection at Sixth and Laurel.
Neither vehicle safety, nor pedestrian convenience and safety (to be addressed in another letter), nor traffic movement is beneficially affected by changing the intersection at Sixth and Laurel from a four-way signalized stop to a roundabout.
CDOT and Jacobs stand on baseless arguments in order to justify replacing a four-way intersection with a roundabout.
In my opinion, the bridge and CDOT’s access control plan will decimate Glenwood Springs.
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