Start of work at the Rohnert park roundabout
Construction of the first Rohnert Park roundabout has started and motorists should anticipate traffic delays in July.
It is located on Commerce and Sud-Ouest boulevards, an intersection located directly east of Highway 101 and an entrance to a commercial and residential area south of Rohnert Park.
The trade stretches north and south and curves in the southwest instead of being a traditional T-junction with straight roads.
Drivers are confined to narrow lanes on the east side of Commerce while construction is taking place in its west half. The owners say the traffic is flowing outside of rush hour.
“That’s when a line of vehicles is moving slowly, yeah,” said Ronnie McDaniels, 70, who lives in the residential area northeast of the intersection. “I think people have tried driving around in my neighborhood, and that’s the problem right now.”
A roundabout is a road junction where traffic bypasses a round island to reach a converging road. Drivers may need to give way to traffic, but vehicles move otherwise without having to stop.
The $ 1.9 million project includes the replacement of a water line and the rehabilitation of a sewer line.
When complete, the roundabout is expected to reduce traffic delays by seconds in the morning, but more than a minute during evening journeys, according to Rohnert Park town staff.
Roundabouts typically reduce the number of fatalities at intersections by about 95%, said Kate Miller, executive director of the Napa Valley Transportation Authority.
They tend to be safer alternatives to traffic lights, as the circular design forces vehicles to travel at lower speeds, which also allows cyclists to cross the road safely. The design also helps reduce certain types of collisions.
“There is no opportunity for a T-bone,” Miller said. “The way an intersection works, you could slide to the side or there could be a rear collision. But there is no potential for the type that causes major deaths. “
His agency partially funded a trio of roundabouts installed in Napa about two years ago and Miller said they have since improved traffic conditions in the area of Highway 29 and First Street.
“Roundabouts really slow the cars down and that’s a real advantage,” Miller said.
In addition to safety, she added, roundabouts offer landscaping opportunities and do not require electrical maintenance associated with traffic lights.
Installation is highly dependent on the ability of an area to adapt to the circular structure and the number of vehicles.
Acknowledging the apprehension among drivers entering roundabouts, Miller said, “I think the learning curve slows down considerably the more you use it.”
You can reach editor Colin Atagi at [email protected] On Twitter @colin_atagi