Archived Story

City plans roundabout for N. Suffolk site

Published 8:55pm Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The city of Suffolk is considering placing a roundabout at the corner of College Drive and Armistead Road as part of its transformation of a nearby parcel of real estate, Wednesday’s Economic Development Authority meeting heard.

The EDA owns a 55-acre parcel between Interstate 664 and College Drive, bounded on the north by Armistead. A contractor already has cleared some trees from the site, and the city now is working on plans for land use, transportation and utilities, among other things. The city hopes to attract a variety of different types of development to the site.

The transportation plan takes precedence because it affects every other plan, Economic Development Director Kevin Hughes said.

“We’ve been spending a lot of time on the traffic design,” he told EDA members.

A roundabout solves a number of problems, particularly the intersection’s close proximity to where city leaders hope the main entrances to the site will be.

“This creates a movement where people can flow a little freer,” meaning traffic won’t be backed up past the entrances, Hughes said.

Deputy City Manager Patrick Roberts said during the meeting that roundabouts result in fewer crashes than a traditional intersection.

“VDOT has really become, in recent years, a proponent of this type of intersection,” he said.

It would also have some intangible benefits, Hughes said.

“There’s an opportunity for landscaping or public art or something to let people know they’ve arrived at this location,” he said.

The traffic improvements will be paid for with Route 17 taxing district funds, Hughes said. A roundabout is expected to be less expensive than an intersection that requires traffic lights.

  • SouthernLady

    If a driver doesn’t know how to make a right turn on red when there is no sign stating not to, what do you think they are going to do when they get to a roundabout? If a driver doesn’t know who goes first at a 3 or 4 way intersection, what do you think they are going to do when they get to a roundabout? Many drivers don’t know what lane to be in at regular intersections so what do you think they’ll do at a roundabout? If a driver is talking on a hands free device or chatting away with their passengers, do you honestly think they are going to be giving their full attention to the other vehicles in the roundabout? I know they won’t because I’ve seen it time and again. They are a complete menace on the roadway especially in high traffic areas and worse in roundabouts. Roundabouts are not safe in high traffic areas.

    Suggest Removal

  • guyr

    There’s nothing wrong with roundabouts. In fact, they work to move traffic through with less delay. I’ve driven extensively in Europe where roundabouts are used and never encountered any problems at all. Cars in the roundabout have the right of way. That’s it. It’s really not complicated at all.

    Suggest Removal

  • SouthernLady

    In addition to the previous comment about the roundabouts in Norfolk, I well remember the FORMER traffic circle at US 17 and Jefferson Hwy. in Newport News. Does anyone else remember that dangerous roundabout on their way to Newport News, Hampton and Williamsburg? Does anyone with the DOT happen to remember WHY THE ROUNDABOUT WAS DONE AWAY WITH? How about all the traffic problems as more and more vehicles hit the highways each year and that was decades ago. Just think what will happen if that roundabout is built in North Suffolk. The only places I’m aware of them working are in small towns and Suffolk is no longer a small town. Look at the population figures and the number of vehicles. Suffolk leaders should cut back on their salaries, perks, bonuses and spend the money on aproper and updated intersection and stop trying to save money for themselves by building a roundabout!

    Suggest Removal

  • dollyb12

    Suffolk, you are doing it again! If anybody out there grew up in Norfolk, they may be familiar with what was called Lansdale Circle at the intersection of Northampton Blvd, Princess Anne Rd and Military Hwy. It became such a nightmare that Norfolk redesigned the entire intersection to remove the deadly circle. Also, Colonial Place has a couple of circles, or at least they did when I drove through 20 years ago — if traffic cuts in front of you, you end up like a hamster in a cage going round and round because you are having to look out for the other guy cutting out from the side street in front of you instead of looking for a way out of that circle by way of street signs or marquees. Portsmouth has one now and I for one avoid it like the plague. I will mark this spot on the map and avoid this location also!

    Suggest Removal

    • StJohnsRector

      Having lived in Colonial Place and still own a house there the roundabouts work just fine. Those in the circle have right of way over those outside the circle.

      Suggest Removal

      • Lovebug

        Amen, they really are a no brainer you just have to know the rules of a roundabout and pay attention. Maybe get off the cell phone while your driving and you can avoid an accident. simply put. I personally don’t mind them.

        Suggest Removal

      • linret

        Roundabouts are used successfully throughout Europe, including in major cities. They are safer and much more effective and efficient in moving traffic through a chokepoint than are stop lights. If people are literate enough to have a driver’s license, then they should also be able to understand signage alerting them to the presence of a roundabout and that cars in the roundabout have the right of way.

        Suggest Removal

      • dollyb12

        guyr, linret, StJohnsRector, Lovebug:
        Roundabouts certainly are a good idea in an ideal world where everyone knows how to drive. I avoid roundabouts simply because people don’t know how to drive and yield to those who are already in the circle. It takes brain matter for some drivers to know what the law is. What do cell phones have to do with this? The yield signs were being ignored way before cell phones ever came into being.

        Suggest Removal

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