The Pueblo Chieftan

Metro District offers video for roundabout discussion

A video created by the Federal Highway Administration about roundabouts is on the Pueblo West Metropolitan District website, and staff hopes community members will take the time to watch it and have a lot of their questions answered.

Directors and staff said they believe the video answers lots of questions that have been raised to the Metro District about a locally proposed roundabout, and said it outlines the safety features and advantages.

The roundabout has been proposed and will likely be constructed at the intersection of Purcell and Platteville Blvds.

The decision is ultimately made by Pueblo County and CDOT because the roads are county property, but county and Colorado Department of Transportation officials have said they want to work cooperatively with Pueblo West officials.

In an effort for good communication, Sasan Delshad, a Region II traffic engineer with CDOT, attended the Pueblo West Metro Board of Directors meeting last week to talk about the roundabout and answer any questions he could.

Notably, Delshad said accident numbers are reduced by a large percentage when a roundabout is constructed at a busy intersection such as the Platteville and Purcell one.

A roundabout requires vehicles to reduce their speeds to about 20 miles per hour, greatly reducing the severity of any accidents that do still occur.

“According to the (federal) Hazard Elimination Safety Program, this intersection definitely qualifies for a roundabout, and it shows that it’s a 15-to-1 rate of benefit to cost, which is extraordinary,” Delshad said.

“That’s not necessarily the normal that you see at intersections.”

Pueblo West District Manager Jack Johnston said during the Board meeting that Purcell is a “major arterial for the community with 20,000 movements a day.”

However, with far fewer vehicles on Platteville, putting up a traffic signal doesn’t make sense.

“But if you can get the traffic slowed down to 15 miles an hour, under 20 the reduction in fatalities is something like 90 percent, and serious injuries 70 percent,” Johnston said.

“We didn’t think that rumble strips or dips or speed bumps were going to stop people from blowing through the intersection, and there weren’t a lot of options left,” Johnston said.

Johnston said the District has received many comments and questions regarding the proposed roundabout, many against but some in favor as well.

Several people at the District meeting raised their concerns as well.

Delshad said most people are not “used to the concept of a roundabout and we experience a lot of resistance at first, but then people get used to it and realize how efficient and effective they are.”

He said a roundabout was built recently in Canon City, which upset many people at first – but now the community is requesting more.

Delshad and board members requested anyone in the community with questions or concerns about the roundabout watch the video online.

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