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SE 47th Terrace Roundabout Completed

Published August 23, 2018

The following is a article from the News-Press:

Jarvis, Sarah | Aug. 23, 2018

Amid ongoing construction along Cape Coral’s SE 47th Terrace, the city checked off one major part of the yearlong streetscape project: a new roundabout at Vincennes Boulevard.

Crews completed the roundabout earlier this month, bringing the total in the city to three. The other two roundabouts are at SE 24th Avenue and Viscaya Parkway, and Trafalgar Parkway and Surfside Boulevard. 

City traffic engineer Bill Corbett said those two roundabouts see an average of 10,500 and 5,500 vehicles per day, respectively. He said the former intersection at SE 47th Terrace and Vincennes Boulevard saw an average of 6,000 vehicles per day.

Safer than four-way intersections

The streetscape project’s website touts the roundabout as a way to increase safety for drivers and pedestrians, and a presentation from the Lee County Metropolitan Planning Organization says roundabouts are significantly more cost-effective over a 20-year period than average intersections.

But Jay Anderson, executive director of the Lee County road safety nonprofit Stay Alive…Just Drive!, said many people approach roundabouts like four-way intersections, which puts themselves at risk.

He said he was out driving with one of his students when they approached a roundabout and that the drivers at the roundabout’s four quadrants all came to a stop. Anderson stressed that drivers in the circle have the right-of-way, and that drivers approaching the circle simply have to yield to them.

He said there’s “no question” that roundabouts are safer than four-way intersections.

The Federal Highway Administration’s website says roundabouts reduce severe crashes — those resulting in injury or loss of life — by 78 to 82 percent, according to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. 

The highway administration says that in addition to fewer crashes, the types of crashes that are seen in roundabouts are less harmful, because traffic is flowing in the same direction. Anderson said these kinds of crashes are rear-end bumps or sideswipes. 

“By reducing the number and severity of conflict points, and because of the lower speeds of vehicles moving through the intersection, roundabouts are a significantly safer type of intersection,” the highway association’s website reads.

For now, roundabout traffic is restricted to Vincennes Boulevard with the exits onto SE 47th Terrace blocked for construction. Businesses along SE 47th Terrace remain open during construction.

Yvonne McClellan, a public information specialist for the project, previously said the contractor has extended the project’s work zone and added additional crews and workers to stay on track with the city’s original goal of completing the project by the end of the year. Crews plan to work most or all Saturdays from here on out, she said, and the additional labor isn’t costing the city any more money.