Battle Creek Explores A Roundabout at North Ave And Emmett Street
The city of Battle Creek continues to explore the possibility of building a roundabout at the intersection of North Avenue and Emmett Street. In spite of efforts to make the intersection safer, (prohibiting right turns on red and adding a crosswalk at Emmett and College) those efforts didn't prevent a fatal crash that occurred at that site in October of 2018.
In the aftermath of the fatal 2018 accident, the city hired an advisory firm to make suggestions, both short and long term, to add safety to the area. The short-term suggestions have been implemented. Those include, according to the city, "sign reduction and sign placement improvements, bus stop relocation, and traffic signal backplate installation."
Battle Creek makes the case for building the roundabout, by stating, even with the updated safety changes, pedestrians have to press a button to activate a traffic signal, and there is a 45-foot crosswalk area, where the pedestrians are not protected. Adding to their argument, Battle Creek says "During that crossing, the pedestrian must trust that a driver will obey the "no turn on red" prohibitions." And "trust that a driver will yield to a pedestrian in the crosswalk when making a legal left turn, or a legal right turn."
Now the next step is about to take place, with the proposal of a roundabout being built. The city's argument is that a roundabout would slow traffic, and eliminate all 90-degree conflict points between cars and people, especially left turns, which they deem more dangerous.
An alternative option was a pedestrian bridge or tunnel, but the city says not feasible due to a variety of reasons for both options. On its website, the city also explains how this proposed roundabout would be different from Marshall and Kalamazoo.
The Battle Creek Enquirer says the city is still in the asking questions phase and quotes Assistant City Manager Ted Dearing as saying no final decision has been made.