FAIRBORN — The City of Fairborn is aiming to construct and implement a roundabout intersection in the coming years at Col. Glenn Highway and Kauffman Avenue as part of its long-term road work plans.
“There’s over 5,000 roundabouts that have been installed in the U.S. since 1990, so there’s been a lot of testing and [available] data on them,” Fairborn City Engineer Don O’Connor said. “That’s why we feel so confident moving forward with this solution in Fairborn — it’s been tested all over the country and they work all over the country.”
City officials are expecting push-back from citizens on this project. Thus, www.fairbornroundabout.com, a website aimed to provide data and answer citizens questions about such project, was created. Information directed at keeping citizens abreast of the current happenings in the project as well as answering additional questions that may surface in the future are expected to be posted on the website as the development of the roundabout moves forward.
According to the website, roundabouts reduce the amount of collisions by 37 percent; decrease the amount of pedestrian crashes by 40 percent; subtract injury collisions by 75 percent and lessen the amount of fatalities by 90 percent. The current intersection at Col. Glenn Highway and Kauffman Avenue is the fifth most dangerous intersection crash area in the city, the website said.
“One of the reasons why [roundabouts reduce collisions] is there’s less conflict points where you cross other vehicle’s paths. It’s not as frequent with pedestrians also,” O’Connor said. “People also have to slow down to drive around the roundabout, so the high-speed collisions are reduced. Efficiency, also, because you don’t have to stop at a roundabout if there’s no other traffic.”
The website lists rear-end crashes as an issue at the intersection as well, crediting the skewed angle in which Col. Glenn and Kauffman meet, giving more allowance to the speed that drivers turn from Col. Glenn onto Kauffman while creating less visibility of oncoming traffic. The skewed angle at the intersection also creates a possibility for “T-bone” crashes to take place more often as well, according to the website.
O’Connor said installing a roundabout in that area will allow the city to take on not only the safety and efficiency issues it currently experiences there, but solve traffic signal maintenance calls as well.
It is currently expected to cost $820,000 with $336,694 being covered by federal grant money provided by the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission.
Council approved the design contract for the roundabout project at a recent regular meeting, allowing the current focus to stay on creating a detailed design. Construction is expected to start in spring 2019, while the project faces the possibility of completion by winter 2019.
O’Connor is aiming to involve citizens throughout the project. A public meeting highlighting the design process is slated to take place in the fall months, followed by a public meeting to focus on the completed design by spring 2018.
“We want this process to be as open as possible and get as much feedback as possible,” O’Connor said. “We know it’s new, so we really are making an effort to reach out to the public to get feedback and to educate them and hopefully bring them along with us in this process so they feel comfortable.”
Traffic pattern study
Ohio Street, South Street and Greene Street have been limited to right-turns only onto Broad Street since Jan. 23 and will be implemented for 90 days since the start of a traffic study. The expected completion date set for April 23. The results will be used to determine a long-term solution in reducing the amount of traffic travelling down residential neighborhoods.
The differing traffic pattern resulted in a 28 percent reduction in neighborhood traffic as of day 30 of the study. That percentage was determined by calculating the amount of traffic that travelled through those four areas of concern before the study started compared to counting cars in the same areas once again 30 days into the experiment. The temporary barricades are meant to mimic a possible permanent solution, it is too early to determine a resolution that will stand the test of time. City officials must complete cost estimating, which will provide insight into the funding of such project — the who and how the dollars will come to fruition and possibly putting a halt on the project altogether.
“The schedule for any permanent fix is unclear at this point,” O’Connor said. “Typically … capitol improvement projects [are] planned, most of the time, years in advance. At the least, it’s a year time-frame to identify a budget, get the plans together and get the construction done. Residents shouldn’t expect something to be changed permanently in the next few months. It’s likely going to be awhile before we can get something permanent on the ground.”
Reach Whitney Vickers at 937-502-4532.