Upper Arlington may include a "mini-roundabout" in its plans for the second phase of a reconstruction of Tremont Road.

Upper Arlington may include a "mini-roundabout" in its plans for the second phase of a reconstruction of Tremont Road.

City Engineer Jackie Thiel and Brian Moore, a roundabout specialist for Burgess & Niple, recommended the installation of a mini-roundabout at the intersection of Tremont and Redding roads to Upper Arlington City Council on Monday, April 20.

The plan still requires council approval and likely wouldn't be built before September 2016, when the city intends to move forward on Phase 2 of the Tremont Road reconstruction.

However, Thiel told council members Monday the city received positive feedback from residents about the possibility of a roundabout during a public meeting last November, and Moore said a mini-roundabout would improve traffic flow, as well as traffic and pedestrian safety.

"It would fit nicely there," Moore said. "The recommendation for this intersection is a mini-roundabout. It's much safer than what's out there now."

The city is considering upgrades to the Tremont-Redding intersection, where Abington Road also comes in from the west, as part of the Tremont project.

Initial estimates for the total reconstruction, Tremont Road's first major rebuild since 1956, are about $9 million. However, the city has received a total of $4.4 million for the project from a combination grant and zero-interest loan from the Ohio Public Works Commission.

Phase 1 of the project is expected to begin in July and cost approximately $6.08 million. It includes resurfacing Tremont between Kenny and Fishinger roads; curb, gutter and stormwater replacements; the installation of bicycle lanes and a shared-use path; and reconfiguring the existing four-lane section of Tremont to a three-lane road between Fishinger and Zollinger roads.

From Kenny to Zollinger, the existing four-lane section of Tremont will be reconfigured to a three-lane road with a bike lane in each direction.

Phase 2 will be designed later this year, but will focus on improvements to Tremont from Ridgeview Road to Lane Avenue. That work could include realigning Tremont's intersections with both Dorset and Redding roads.

As currently designed with a traffic signal, Moore said, the Tremont-Redding intersection has 32 "conflict points" for traffic.

He said the number of conflict points would be reduced to eight with a mini-roundabout. He added that a roundabout would yield less-severe accidents because traffic would have to slow down to enter the intersection, and most crashes would occur at angles, as opposed to T-bone collisions.

Thiel said a mini-roundabout also would provide clearer crossing points for pedestrians, who now struggle to find safe times to cross because Tremont, Redding and Abington come together.

"It's not a perpendicular intersection," Thiel said.

Currently, Upper Arlington has what engineers refer to as a traffic circle where Tremont intersects Arlington Avenue.

It has a roundabout that opened last summer at the intersection of Waltham and North Star roads, where Waltham also connects to Kinnear Road.

Moore said what's being proposed at Tremont-Redding is a mini-roundabout because it would be 80 feet in diameter, as opposed to 130 feet like the Waltham-North Star roundabout.

Council members said they'd like more input from the Upper Arlington Fire Division as to how emergency vehicles might be affected by a mini-roundabout before approving the project.

They also said they wanted to find out if a cobblestone perimeter to the mini-roundabout would create problems for city snow-removal crews.

"I think that's a tough area to navigate, especially for people who are new," Councilman Kip Greenhill said. "So, one of the things that appeals to me is it's safer."

Council Vice President Debbie Johnson said she's skeptical about whether a roundabout would work at the city's Five Points intersection, but is more open to the Tremont-Redding mini-roundabout proposal.

"I don't have a better option," she said.