Roundabouts under consideration at RRCR/I-15

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Roundabouts on Railroad Canyon Rd.? Believe it or not, it is an option. The Lake Elsinore City Council listened to a presentation this week from consultants working on alternatives for alleviating traffic congestion at intersections close to Railroad Canyon Rd. and I-15.

According to an article that appeared in The Press Enterprise on February 20, Lake Elsinore City Manager Grant Yates was contacted by the Federal Highway Administration and told the I-15/Railroad Canyon Rd. interchange was one of the most complicated interchanges west of the Mississippi. The article states, “Not only did the Washington D.C.-based agency identify a problem, they offered a potential solution: roundabouts.”

Yates was quoted as saying, “It’s different, scary.”

That’s pretty much how many of The Friday Flyer Facebook page readers viewed the idea as well when they saw a link to the article and a You Tube video demonstrating how the roundabouts would work.

What consultants are proposing is a roundabout at each of the five intersections from Lakeshore Dr. west of the freeway to Summerhill Dr. east of the freeway. The State Department of Transportation has endorsed the roundabout concept as one of four potential alternatives to be studied.

“The project was reviewed by Caltrans and the traffic modeling was approved,” says consultant Ati Eskandari. “It is now a viable option for the city council to consider.”

Roundabouts are one-way circular intersections that omit traffic signals and stop signs in favor of yield signs and merging. They are intended to move traffic safely and smoothly. Most Canyon Lake drivers have experienced a roundabout at the Menifee Marketplace and in Temecula Wine Country.

Here are a few of the responses posted with the article on The Friday Flyer’s Facebook page:

“No. There are too many people who would mess up and cause accidents. Please don’t do it!!!”

“It would be horrible!! People can’t drive properly as it is in that area and this would make it a million times worse.”

“NIGHTMARE”

“Death wish”

“Horrible idea. I lived in a city that had these roundabouts all over, trucks tipped all the time, and drivers unfamiliar with the area caused accidents daily. We referred to them as the circle of death. I hope this does not happen.”

“We have experienced numerous roundabouts in a Four Seasons resort city. There are many non-residents who maneuver them very well in all kinds of weather. Perhaps a public campaign of how to drive a roundabout would help. I think they are a good choice. Traffic continuously moves on down the road.”

“Well, I am for them. Nothing could be worse than the traffic jam we have there now on a daily basis. Oh yeah, the option of doing nothing would be worse. Traffic circles will slow down traffic which will help with accidents.”

“I always tend to think that accidents would happen in these things and they certainly are annoying; however, I’ve never actually seen an accident in one. Maybe because traffic is moving so slowly that accidents are avoided in them? I know I’ve avoided several accidents in them just by watching for those who don’t know what the word “yield” actually means. At least they’re trying to address the issue.”

“Since I don’t live in Canyon Lake anymore I don’t have a valid opinion, but I’ve been to Europe where they are at every corner and I see them popping up everywhere in the states . . . they keep the traffic flowing with less stops. My suggestion is to get use to it.”

“Bad idea, the one in Menifee shopping center is an accident always waiting to happen, horrible idea at the freeway.”

“Would be fun to grab a cooler and chair and go watch the mayhem!”

“California drivers are not capable of managing one roundabout much less five in a row in a high volume traffic area.”

“While I see that this could be dangerous, I feel as though anything is better than what we have now! The intersections are constantly blocked and people swerving around. Not to mention lights turn green before the opposite one turns red! Now that’s dangerous.”

“Roundabouts take getting used to but you they do work.”

“It would end congestion because everyone would use Central or Bundy Canyon to avoid the roundabouts.”

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Sharon Rice