It's something Kalamazoo locals feel very strongly about: roundabouts. I'm sure simply reading the word triggers all kinds of emotions for those who reside in a city with one of the most dangerous roundabouts in the entire state of Michigan.
Seriously, what is the City of Kalamazoo's obsession with these traffic circles a.k.a. roundabouts? Whatever it is, it seems like they're not quite over it yet as the city has just installed two new "temporary" roundabouts in several Kalamazoo neighborhoods.
What's a 'Temporary Roundabout'?
First of all, I didn't even know this was a thing. As WMMT first reported, these new roundabouts are a part of the new traffic-calming efforts the city is attempting to implement. Yes, those annoying and confusing new bike lanes are also a part of this project.
How Long Will They Be Around?
City of Kalamazoo traffic engineer Dennis Randolph told News Channel 3 that these new temporary roundabouts will stay in place throughout the winter months and could eventually become permanent if it's found that they do indeed help calm traffic in Kalamazoo neighbors after all.
Which Neighborhoods Are Affected?
These new traffic-calming roundabouts were installed earlier this week in both the Oakland and Winchell neighborhoods at two different intersections along Chevy Chase Boulevard at the intersections of Lorraine and Waite avenues.
How Effective Are Roundabouts?
According to the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) roundabouts not only reduce congestion and air pollution, but also saves money, improve aesthetics and,
reduce head-on/left-turn and angle-type crashes that frequently result in serious or fatal injuries. Generally, roundabouts are safer for pedestrians due to the lower speeds.
What do you think: are you a fan of all the roundabouts in Kalamazoo or not?