New Albany News

New Albany City Council

Market-Main roundabout plan comes full circle

By

New Albany City Council on Jan. 7 approved a plat for a roundabout at the intersection of Market and Main streets.

A plat designates the land on which the roundabout will be built.

Council members Colleen Briscoe, Chip Fellows, Stephen Pleasnick and Sloan Spalding and Mayor Nancy Ferguson voted in favor of the legislation; Glyde Marsh voted against it. One seat is vacant because Chris Wolfe resigned in December.

According to the legislative report, the roundabout requires the dedication of 10- to 15-foot-wide strips of land on the north, south and west sides of the intersection that total 0.31 acre for rights of way. All the land is owned by the New Albany Co. and the city of New Albany.

Marsh, who has been an opponent of roundabouts and lives north of the roundabout at Reynoldsburg-New Albany and Morse roads, said he is not convinced roundabouts work now or will work well in the future.

He said trucks coming through the city would be unable to navigate a roundabout intersection at Market and Main.

Briscoe said city officials do not want trucks on Main Street -- also known as Johnstown Road and U.S. Route 62 -- and would rather funnel truck traffic onto other roads.

Tom Rubey, development director for the New Albany Co., said the roundabout would be designed to accommodate some trucks with an apron for the trucks to use when navigating the circle.

Adrienne Joly, the city's deputy development director, said the city is updating its strategic plan, which includes a thoroughfare proposal for types of traffic on different roads. That is expected to be completed in 2014.

Joly said city officials also recommended City Council include a condition of approval with the plat -- which it did -- that the New Albany Co. submit a plat to extend Market Street east to Reynoldsburg-New Albany Road within the next six months.

Other City Council members asked about pedestrian safety at the roundabout.

Joly said city officials consulted with Mark Johnson of MTJ Engineering of Madison, Wis., and learned that the roundabout can be safe, if it is designed correctly.

She said lanes must be kept narrow -- not more than about 12 feet wide -- to keep traffic from moving faster than 15 miles per hour through the intersection.

The design includes medians on the north and south sides of the intersection, which will allow pedestrians to cross one lane of traffic before stopping, and then cross the second lane to reach the other side of Main Street.

The plan also includes secondary pedestrian crossings farther north and south from the roundabout that could include a pedestrian crossing signal, if needed, Rubey said.

Fellows asked if the city initially could install lights at the secondary crossings and post police officers on foot at the roundabout once it is built to improve safety.

Joly said city officials would have to educate residents about pedestrian crossings and use of the roundabout. She said one suggestion has been to install a roundabout at the New Albany Safety Town, which teaches kindergartners and first-graders about traffic safety.

Briscoe said the only other way to improve the intersection would require the city to widen it to five lanes.

She said she, too, is concerned about pedestrian safety at the intersection but said a roundabout would be the "best alternative for that intersection."

When asked about the size of the roundabout, Rubey said it would be similar to the roundabout at Fodor and New Albany roads, though he said the design will be different.

City officials anticipate more traffic at the Market and Main intersection when the new community health center opens later this year.

Comments