Tuesday, October 13, 2015

More Vermont Roundabout Corridors Arriving!

More Roundabout Corridors Coming to Vermont!
Roundabouts, about 3,500 strong now in the U.S. and Canada, now arrive in bunches, 3, 4, 5, and even more. Three or more roundabouts along a mile or two qualifies as a “roundabout corridor” and Vermont's first in Manchester completed in 2012 soon gets company with two planned and others in the offing. The first five roundabout corridor along Brattleboro's Putney Road corridor now reaches the design stage with VTrans. The commercial retail will include full walk/bike facilities along what amounts to a business strip of retail and food outlets. The business community wanting to compete effectively with nearby Keene, NH pushed for making the corridor an attractive, congestion free environment for all modes.  (Keene, NH boasts five going on six roundabouts in the City including one just outside on the road to the airport.)
Roundabouts cut serious and fatal injuries about 90% according to an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety study. And a recent study of over 50 U.S. roundabout corridors in place found little difference in through traffic travel times as reduced delay at intersections overcame the positive result of reduced speeds through the corridor.  Burlington's North Avenue Corridor Plan adopted last October converts at least three signalized intersections to roundabouts along a mixed use corridor. Four intersections comprising all of Montpelier's Main Street in the downtown found roundabout feasible include the oldest roundabout in the northeast, Keck Circle at Main and Spring Streets and a second intersection at Barre Street in pre-design, an intersection which enables final connection of Winooski East and Winooski West transportation paths (bikepaths fully lit and plowed in the winter).
A second three roundabout corridor planed along Depot Street (VT 11) in Manchester has an anchor roundabout at the Main Street over the Batttenkill River. This corridor would complete making Manchester reaching signal-free status.

In Burlington an AARP Vermont workshop report and the Burlington Walk Bike Council supports a roundabout corridor along both Pine Street and the Champlain Parkway overall about ten roundabouts.