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Roundabouts could come to county intersections

Posted at 4:22 PM, Apr 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-19 01:16:10-04

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Traditional intersection or roundabout, that is the question.

Pima County looked at about two dozen different intersections across the unincorporated metropolitan area, evaluating them traffic volume, accidents, and other criteria. They determined nine that would be the best fit for a roundabout.

The intersections on their short list include:
  • Sabino Canyon Rd at Sunrise Dr
  • Camino Loma Alta at Colossal Cave Rd
  • Via Rancho Del Lago at Colossal Cave Rd
  • Bopp Rd at Donald Ave
  • Gates Pass Rd at Kinney Rd
  • Picture Rocks Rd at Sandario Rd
  • Camino De Oeste at Linda Vista Blvd
  • Los Reales Rd at Swan Rd
  • Bopp Rd at San Joaquin Rd

National studies show a roundabout reduces the number of collisions at an intersection by 37 percent. The number of deadly wrecks go down by 90 percent.

The county says average traffic flow would be a few seconds faster because drivers would not need to stop at a sign or signal.

The proposed roundabouts will cost around $800,000 each to build. Over the course of the year, the county says a roundabout costs about $10,000 less to maintain than a regular intersection. After 20 years, they say roundabouts will cost about half of what a signal would have.
 
Total cost of all nine roundabouts is about $10.5 million which is split between federal and county bond money. That money is earmarked for safety, therefore it cannot be used for other purposes like road repair.

The first of several public meetings was held on Thursday night. Around 80 people showed up to the presentation.

At the second public near Tucson Estates, residents wondered why the county was spending money on roundabouts instead of other road improvements. They also raised concern over the location of two roundabouts proposed on Bopp Rd. Sarah Vetault says she would rather see a roundabout on Bopp Rd at Kinney Rd instead of Donald Ave or San Joaquin Rd.

Several other public comment meetings are taking place over the next week.

  • April 19 from 6-7:30 p.m. at Acacia Elementary School, 12955 E. Colossal Cave Road
  • April 20 from 6-7:30 p.m. at Mountain View High School, 3901 W. Linda Vista Blvd.
  • April 26 from 6-7:30 p.m. at Picture Rocks Community Center, 5615 N. Sanders Rd.

You can also submit your opinion about the roundabouts online. You can find more information about single-lane roundabouts here.