Roundabout confusion draws criticism
Published: Thursday, September 15, 2011
Updated: Friday, September 16, 2011 11:09
There is no roundabout way to explain opinions of the new entrance at Kirkwood Community College other than they're mixed.
The roundabout, located near the main entrance to the Cedar Rapids campus, opened in August.
Some of the 25 people interviewed for this article said the roundabout is a good thing, but most said it isn't. "I think it's going to make it worse," said Janelle Thorton, a Management major in her final year. Many others agreed with her and said they are scared to use it.
Some expressed their dislike while also acknowledging their lack of understanding on how to use the roundabout. It's an "accident waiting to happen because people don't know how to use it," said Lydia Chadek, a Management major in her second year.
But the roundabout has its supporters. "We should have more roundabouts," said Marilee Feldman, a Human Resource Management instructor. "I like it more because people are paying attention and it seems to have a better flow," said Abigail Wenman, who is studying to be a surgical technician.
People who like the roundabout said they understood how to drive through it.
Construction of the roundabout took place over the summer. A state grant of about $370,000 paid for its installation.
The purpose of the roundabout was to reduce the number of major accidents at the intersection near Kirkwood's main entrance.
In the past, there usually were "one to two major accidents by now" but there have been "none so far this year," said Tom Kaldenberg, director of facilities at Kirkwood.
Kaldenberg said the roundabout has been performing as expected. People are slowing down and there is less backup at peak times of the day, he said.
To see a video on how to drive on a roundabout, go to www.youtube.com/watach?v=MywmtskFiil.
There are three other entrances to Kirkwood- the South and the North entrances off Kirkwood Boulevard SW and the East entrance off C Avenue SW- that can be used if drivers want to avoid the roundabout.