QUESTION: Why are they putting a roundabout at Joor Road and Gurney Road? The only times these roads back up is early in the morning and late in the afternoon. Why couldn’t they just add some turn lanes? The lights are already there and turn lanes would have solved the problem. Also, in order to build this roundabout, they are closing the intersection through August at the very least. This is going to cause even more congestion on the already congested Hooper Road and Sullivan Road.

ANSWER: Ingolf A. Partenheimer, the city-parish’s chief traffic engineer, tackled this query:

“The new roundabout at Joor at Gurney was designed with an eye toward future growth of the area and efficiency of travel. Roundabouts generally have better levels of service than traffic signals, and that means less delay for the motoring public. An additional benefit: the traffic accidents are less severe and less frequent due to the geometry and the low speeds than those at a regular traffic signal. Also there can’t be any right angle or ‘T-Bone’ accidents, which usually result in very severe accidents.

The following weblink provides an analysis done showing the accident reductions at a roundabout versus a traffic signal: www.wsdot.wa.gov/Safety/roundabouts/benefits.htm

The City of Central is very forward thinking as it already has several roundabouts, all of which work quite well.

Building this roundabout while school is out is best for everyone. Closing the roadway was done to speed the construction and have it completed prior to the beginning of school.

Overall, this roundabout will be a win for everyone.”

The cost of mowing

QUESTION: How much money and fuel is spent to mow along the interstates? I can see mowing right along the side of the lanes for emergency pull-overs, but why not let nature, trees & wild flowers grow along our highways?

ANSWER: Indira Parrales, a spokesperson for the state Department of Transportation and Development, says the agency spends about $3 million a year mowing the interstates.

“Due to safety reasons, clear zones along the interstates are required to be maintained,” Parrales says. “They provide an unobstructed area beyond the edge of the roadway which allows a driver to stop safely or regain control of a vehicle that leaves the travel lane.”

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