Roundabout and traffic circles planned for busy neighborhood - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Roundabout and traffic circles planned for busy neighborhood

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

A North Richmond neighborhood will soon have four new traffic circles added to its streets to help ease traffic near a busy intersection. The city council has already approved the measure. Now it's headed to planners for design.

It gets its name for a reason.

"You got so many intersections," said Earl Robinson who lives in Highland Park.

Along with the Six Points intersection comes heavy traffic. At any given time, navigating it can best be described in one word.

"Congested," Robinson pointed out.

It's why the city of Richmond studied the area and determined one big roundabout would be fitting at the intersection of Brookland Park Blvd., Dill Ave., 2nd Ave and Meadowbridge Rd., which is known as Six Points.

Additionally, the city will build three other smaller traffic circles at Meadowbridge Rd. from Carolina Ave. to Dill Ave.

"That was identified a number of years ago where we were looking at high accident intersections in the city," said traffic engineer Tom Flynn.

City leaders say in addition to safety, getting drivers to slow down, the circles are another way to ease traffic flow as an alternative to traffic lights.

"For traffic signals there are federal guidelines we have to follow in terms of minimal traffic volumes because if you put a signal in that doesn't meet those requirements, you end up having more delay and more accidents...a signal is more for controlling high volumes of traffic and allowing cross streets to safely cross," Flynn added.

After dealing with traffic everyday in his Highland Park neighborhood, Robinson is just glad the city is doing something to help.

"Look at the flow of traffic now. We might sit there five minutes waiting on the light…a roundabout would be nice. Give it a better look and all," Robinson said.

City officials say there still are some gray areas they have to work out before construction can begin on the roundabout. They're hoping to begin building it next year. But construction for the traffic circles is expected by the end of this year.

Copyright 2012 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.

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