Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Roundabouts in Newton II

Continuing the series of intersections in Newton that could use a roundabout, how about the intersection of Ward, Waverly, and Stuart Streets? What makes this a particularly attractive opportunity is that it's a very residential intersection, where a traffic signal seems particularly out-of-place.

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A roundabout would be a much more context-sensitive design, eliminate the noise from stopping traffic, reduce (eliminate?) backups and the idling and emissions that result, all while improving traffic flow. And, the city would save on the energy costs required to power a traffic light where it's really not required.

This has always struck me as a particularly good opportunity for a roundabout trial because the intersection is already enormous. A roundabout would not only fill the center, but likely reduce the overall dimensions of the intersection, reducing a big asphalt blight on the neighborhood.


Nathan Phillips said...

Sean - do you envision a 'complete streets' philosophy for a roundabout here? My experience has been that roundabouts can be great or lame, depending on their accommodation (or not) for bikers and pedestrians. This is a crucial issue. The roundabout sketches for Riverside are vague and don't provide the detail to indicate whether cyclists and pedestrians can safely circumscribe the roundabouts. Roundabouts could be designed solely for automobile efficiency, and for that design criteria, hostile to biking and walking. Or efficiency for autos could be de-emphasized and roundabouts could be very friendly to bikers and walkers. It is not really possible at present to judge the riverside roundabouts since they lack this crucial detail.

Nathan Phillips said...

Beacon and Hammond?

Anonymous said...

Excellent suggested location for a roundabout ... and let me commend the blogger(s) for offering some thoughtful, specific proposals. It's much more interesting to talk about issues around roundabouts with respect to specific, well-made suggestions of actual locations.