Town of Tonawanda tests temporary roundabout

Channel 2's Heather Ly reports on a temporary roundabout in the Town of Tonawanda.

TOWN OF TONAWANDA, NY — Town officials want people to take a test drive of a temporary roundabout at the intersection of Parker Boulevard and Decatur Road.

The maze of traffic cones and hoses is a test run for a possible change to the intersection.

If it's built, the change in traffic pattern would be a mini roundabout designed specifically for residential neighborhoods, and as the name suggests, it would be smaller than other traffic circles in the area. It's meant to fit within the existing footprint of the intersection with minimal changes to infrastructure or nearby property.

Mini roundabouts also have a gradually raised center which would allow larger vehicles, such as fire trucks, to drive right across the middle if they couldn't make it around the circle.

Town officials stress this is just a pilot project so people can experience what a mini roundabout would be like if it's installed there in the future.

They say upgrades need to be made to that intersection to improve traffic flow and pedestrian and biker safety, but they haven't decided what the final solution will be.  They are also looking at upgrading the traffic light or installing stop signs.

Stop signs would be the cheapest option, but town officials say roundabouts are proven to be safer traffic calming options.

Two public hearings have been held regarding the possibility of roundabout installation. More will likely be held before the town makes a final decision.

City planners from Canada were in the Town of Tonawanda Tuesday to check out the temporary roundabout and ask questions of town officials.

Click to take the town's online survey about the temporary roundabout demonstration on Parker Boulevard.

© 2017 WGRZ-TV


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