Home > Engineering Design > Mapping Suggestions For Traverse City’s First Roundabout

Mapping Suggestions For Traverse City’s First Roundabout

Editor’s Note: Sorry for the re-post of this content. Some readers were having formatting issues with the original, so splitting and creating a new post was a quick solution.


Inspired by Henry’s enthusiasm earlier this morning and knowing that the City was advised to consider installing the first roundabout on a less contested intersection than those along Division St., I’ve begun a map of places we may consider Traverse City’s First Roundaboutsee below for map.

Please note: This is a map of some suggestions. None of these have been researched by engineers, or to my knowledge considered by anyone who works for the city of Traverse City. These are just that, suggestions based on that idea that roundabouts are considered where: long rush hour queues exists, high number of crashes and/or a high number of left turns, and where the city knows or predicts high number of pedestrians.

Have any additions?

Roundabout Suggestions for Traverse City


Related Video: Mayor of Carmel, IN, James Brainard describes the city’s experience with more than 50 roundabouts

  1. Richard Miller
    November 23, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    I couldn’t agree with Henry more enthusiastically. It is indeed time to get on with them (roundabouts). And not in a half-assed, let’s try one out in a closet somewhere, way. They are not “new,” just new here. It’s a great pity that the city tucked its courage under its seat when the opportunity came up with the rebuilding of the Eighth and Woodmere intersection: had it been otherwise we almost certainly would not be having this debate today. Now the rebuilding of Division Street is (has been) on the table and it’s time we moved forward facing the future. There will always be naysayers urging us to drag our feet. Strong, progressive, political leadership would make all the difference here between stagnating our traffic problems and solving them.

  2. Anonymouse
    November 23, 2010 at 7:34 pm

    Having driven in east coast traffic circles in the past, I’m really against having them anywhere in any town that I live in. Ever.

  3. November 23, 2010 at 8:19 pm

    Most of the east coast ‘traffic circles’ are just that, traffic circles, which are a different creature all together than modern roundabouts. The only similarity they have is that they are round. New Jersey is often cited as an example and they are taking steps to move away from them.

    You still may not like roundabouts, but it’s important to keep the two traffic tools separate. One has a pattern of success (modern roundabout), the other doesn’t.

    Roundies vs traffic cirlces.

  4. Anonymouse
    November 24, 2010 at 7:54 am

    From the video you posted here, they are exactly the same thing and work exactly the same way as the circles in NJ. The only difference is that, at least in the video, there is much less traffic.

    I think that light traffic areas are the only areas traffic circles or roundabouts or whatever you want to call them would work. The reason is that there is really only one way to drive through one of these things and that’s aggressively.

    They are unpredictable for drivers (because there’s no light to tell them when to stop or go) and when you come up on these things and it’s full of traffic you never know when you can merge in and people will start to get aggressive and just fly right in there.

    I think the last thing we need around here are more aggressive drivers!

    Also these circles/roundabouts might work well for young healthy pedestrians but I can see them being a nightmare for older and/or disabled pedestrians who move a lot slower.

    Another problem with them is space. They take up a lot more space than a boxed intersection and for some place like division and parkway where are you going to find enough space? You’ll have to cut into existing yards, side roads and parks. Possibly even force some buildings to move.

  5. Richard Miller
    November 24, 2010 at 9:11 am

    I have recently experienced negotiated roundabouts, modern, efficient ones: in Ireland where they’re incorporated in congested urban settings as well as new rural freeway construction. I found they worked smoothly in all settings and I had no difficulty negotiating them despite my driving a manual-shift vehicle on the “wrong” side (English rules) of the road.

  6. Raymond Minervini II
    November 24, 2010 at 4:10 pm

    Based upon my use of modern roundabouts and my reading about them, I would have to say that in most applications, the data support Richard’s post. One of the best modifications to driving behavior is that modern roundabouts require the driver to observe the intersection and the vehicles and people in it. They require us to slow down and use our brain to control the vehicle, not just obey a colored light. Anyone who qualifies for a drivers license can drive a roundabout. They have been well received in many retiree-oriented cities around the country.

    As to the idea of an “introductory”, non-State Trunkline roundabout: While it feels like a punt, if TC can build an effective roundabout at a busy intersection in two years, it might be worthwhile. I suppose after that, we could go big with series of them on Division and Grandview once everyone can see that they are good and usable, and not part of an elitist plot. The locations on the map are good; 8th & Garfield or 8th and Woodmere seem to be the best locations. Time for the City to reserve ROW in both locations.

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