This week, Fort Myers Council member Mike Flanders sent the below e-mail to the members of the Lee MPO Board about an important topic for the November 16th MPO Board meeting--roundabouts. Kudos to Councilman Flanders for bringing this important and timely issue to the Board for discussion.
To MPO Board Members
Re: MPO Meeting in November 2012
As countries and communities around the world grow, so do traffic challenges. Plagued with sluggish roadways primarily designed with a “stop-n-go” concept for automobiles, counties and states are drawn to the appeal of roundabouts, one-way circular intersections as innovative traffic solutions. A veritable “Swiss Army Knife” of traffic efficiency and sustainability, roundabouts eliminate the need for electronic traffic signals, allow for free vehicular flow with less congestion, reduce life-threatening vehicular crashes, operate during power failures, reduce travel time, reduce emissions, save fuel and provide safer crossings for pedestrians and bicyclist. As a civic benefit, unlike most signaled intersections with a multitude of structures, poles, arms, cables, and signals, the serene roundabout offers an excellent location for gateway aesthetics, landscaping, and public art. For these many reasons, the roundabout is undoubtedly the most sustainable solution to a busy intersection.
In 2011, as a representative of the City of Fort Myers, I attended the 3rd International Conference on Roundabouts held near Indianapolis in Carmel, Indiana. This conference was attended by many consultants, cities, universities, states, and countries interested in knowing more how the roundabout solves so many of the man-made conflicts in existing signaled intersections. Also in attendance were the following public transportation departments from five countries and fifteen states:
Countries: Untied States, Canada, England, New Zealand, and Japan
States: Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.
This informative conference is held in the spring every two years. In May 2013, the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies will be hosting the next one in Seattle, Washington.
I highly recommend you mark your calendars now, and plan to attend next spring.
In the near future, Lee County MPO Director Don Scott along with his staff and myself will present the highlights of the conference with more specifics on roundabout benefits and the opportunities we have to include them in our transportation network. This presentation is scheduled for the upcoming November 16th meeting of the Lee County MPO to be held at Cape Coral City Hall. Please attend this meeting if you are interested in this proven sustainable solution for relieving traffic congestion and providing for more diverse intersections to safely accommodating all modes of transportation.
Councilman, Ward 4
City of Fort Myers