A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Roundabout: no wall or fence

Written February 18th, 2015 by Hasso Hering
That orange plastic will go when landscaping is installed.

That orange plastic will go when landscaping is installed.

You can quit worrying about fancy embellishments at the roundabout completed last year on Albany’s Main Street. The advisory board of the Central Albany Revitalization Area Wednesday unanimously accepted a staff recommendation to spend no CARA money on the place.

As a result, the center island will get simple landscaping similar to that on the traffic circles on North Albany and Knox Butte roads.

Kate Porsche, urban renewal manager and economic development director, told the board the nearly $130,000 cost of previously proposed features — a circular wall and wrought-iron fence along with signage — was not worth the benefit of these additions. Her message: If CARA wanted to spend that amount, there are other ways that would do more for the Main Street neighborhood.

Councilor Floyd Collins suggested that for him, the subject was now closed and he would not want the board to change its mind some months down the road.

The way Porshe was talking, it looks as though roundabout landscaping will be installed this spring, along with other plantings in the Main Street reconstruction project. So now, maybe we can just drive around that island without fretting about the city wasting money on frills. (hh)

5 responses to “Roundabout: no wall or fence”

  1. James Carrick says:

    My pacemaker just went ballistic. Common sense has prevailed? Praise God.

  2. Scott Batson says:

    If you’re looking at the other side of a modern roundabout when you’re entering, you’re driving unsafely. Drivers entering a modern roundabout should first look for pedestrians, then watch for other motorists approaching their entry, and then watch for pedestrians when exiting. The motorist on the other side of the circle won’t get to you for 5 or ten seconds. Obscured views across the central island is one of the safety features.
    Roundabout Art:
    French Video: http://tinyurl.com/87yhqts
    Video 2: http://tinyurl.com/d8t3zua
    Topito top 25, France: http://tinyurl.com/c7k34an
    Bend Art drive: http://tinyurl.com/855d4mr
    PixPlot Roundabouts: http://tinyurl.com/2e9dvn3
    Art in traffic circles, flickr: http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=art+in+traffic+circle
    Art in roundabouts, flicker: http://www.flickr.com/search/?w=all&q=art+in+roundabout&m=text
    Podcetrtek Traffic Circle located in Slovenia http://tinyurl.com/9we2qz6
    2014 UK roundabout of the year http://tinyurl.com/rabUK2014

    • Hasso Hering says:

      This may be true with roundabouts of a decent size of the type typically seen in France and elsewhere in Europe. Albany’s traffic circles are too cramped, and the time it takes for vehicles to get around to you, as you’re gauging whether you can safely enter, is pretty short, not the leisurely 5-10 seconds Scott Batson mentions. Too cramped? Well, just watch an 18-wheeler, or even a long Pepsi delivery truck, trying to turn right from Salem Avenue on Main Street in Albany. First they have to steer on to the center island, and even then the tail end is likely to clip the outside curb. (hh)


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