Battle Creek Thumbs Its Nose At Experts; Roundabout Rejected
In what may be a first of its kind in two ways, The City of Battle Creek will not be building a roundabout at the intersection of North Ave. and Emmett Street near Bronson Battle Creek Hospital and Kellogg Community College.
The people said "No!"
The Battle Creek City Commission Tuesday evening voted 6-3 to not build the proposed roundabout. The vote acknowledged intense negative sentiment against the roundabout being built, and it is one of the few instances where a roundabout won't be built after a recommendation to build one. Voting for the roundabout were Mayor Mark Behnke, Vice Mayor Kaytee Faris, and one Commissioner, Carla Reynolds.
Beginning with the strong negative reaction on the City's Facebook page and elsewhere, and finally after a question and answer session this past Thursday, April 15th, the Commission's vote sealed the project's fate.
What the decision came down to was City staff, quoting safety statistics, seeing a roundabout as a possible partial solution to some of the traffic dangers at the intersection, but public sentiment was strongly against it.
The Battle Creek Enquirer quoted At-Large Commissioner Sherry Sofia saying, "there has been organic opposition to this proposal that is just astonishing."
Several of the Commission members echoed those sentiments, while Faris explained her yes vote for the roundabout, saying city engineers provided enough statistics and data to convince her of the merits of going forward with the project.
Back to the drawing board
The City had already obtained almost a million dollars in grant money for the project, and now the staff will work to figure out how to re-purpose the money.