Roundabout and stoplight considered for intersection of Highways 92 and 1
The Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) held a public meeting in the Washington Public Library Thursday night to discuss changes to the intersection of State Highways 92 and 1 on the west edge of town. DOT engineers presented three possible designs intended to improve the flow of traffic at the intersection, including the installation of a stoplight and converting the intersection into a roundabout.
Under the current configuration, traffic coming from the south on Highway 1 must stop at the intersection. The east-west traffic on Highway 92 does not have a stop. DOT Design Project Specialist Kirk Romsey said that motorists on Highway 1 who wish to make a left turn onto Highway 92 wait a very long time at the stop sign because of the heavy traffic on Highway 92. He also said motorists at that stop sign have difficulty seeing traffic from the west because of the lay of the land. Romsey said that a roundabout is one way to solve that problem.
A roundabout is an intersection in which the vehicles travel counter-clockwise around a central island. Vehicles must make right turns to both enter and exit the roundabout, eliminating left turns. Motorists must yield to vehicles that are already in the circle, but apart from that there are no other forms of traffic control in the roundabout such as stoplights or stop signs. Romsey said that roundabouts are known for being safer than other types of intersections.
“There are usually fewer accidents because there are fewer conflict points,” said Romsey. “All you have to do is yield to the vehicles in the circle. If it’s not too busy, you don’t have to stop, so it saves gas and there is less delay. That’s the biggest advantage.”
For more, see our April 30 print edition.