Sunday, January 28, 2007

My Burning Roundabout Questions

The three roundabouts going on Leucadia Blvd are proving to be a source of high drama.

Leucadia Blvd has become a busy road, especially since it was extended and connected to El Camino Real and beyond.

I-5 commuters use Leucadia Blvd to get to the Coast Highway 101. The train intersection causes all kinds of chaos, but for this blog post we will focus on the roundabouts.

The prototype roundabout on Santa Fe Dr is being touted as a success. I drove through the Santa Fe roundabout twice yesterday. It's visually appealing, especially driving up Santa Fe heading east, but both times there was almost zero traffic and I encountered no cars at the roundabout. Smooth sailing.

I also drove down Leucadia Blvd. There was a lot of traffic. I mean, a lot!

So, I am wondering what the purpose of the Leucadia Blvd roundabouts really are?

Is it traffic calming? I think that means slowing people down. Do we want people to go slower on Leucadia Blvd? Seriously, traffic is not traveling all that fast on Leucadia Blvd right now. Few houses are really exposed to that street and no kids are playing street hockey there.



If Leucadia Blvd is supposed to be an artery are arteries supposed to be 25mph?

The main burning question is, are roundabouts really safer for pedestrians? The pedestrian crossings are not in the middle of the roundabout like I've heard some people claim. They are before, and well marked. But I noticed that when driving through a roundabout, you are concentrating on making the curve and watching for vehicles that don't yield. The first pedestrian crossing you encounter before entering the roundabout is obvious, but the one the other side as you exit is tricky. It may be hard to see pedestrians already in the roundabout crosswalk, especially at night.

I would guess that any pedestrians struck at roundabouts were hit by vehicles exiting, not entering.

I propose some sort of push button flashing light in the ground for pedestrians, like the they have at the non-stop sign pedestrian crossings in Del Mar.

There has been a lot of heated roundabout discussion on this blog and a lot of the ins and outs have been well covered.

Santa Barbara is feeling the same growing pains that Encinitas is. Read this blog entry about Santa Barbara roundabouts DAS WILLIAMS Blog: Roundabouts

59 comments:

  1. I just finished reading the Santa Barbara roundabout article. My brother has lived in Santa Barbara for many years. I plan to call him to get his reaction. Santa Barbara seems to be approaching the whole roundabout issue with more caution than the city of Encinitas.

    The city of Encinitas appears to be pushing roundabouts to increase traffic flow. That either means higher speeds or more cars per hour at the same or lower speed. Doesn't traffic calming mean lower speeds and less traffic? There seems to be some confusion here. Is it deliberate deception? Why are roundabouts only on or proposed on major arterials?

    J.P., it seems you didn't get out and walk at the Santa Fe roundabout, but I agree with your perception about the risk for pedestrians on the exit side. Of course, every side is an exit for traffic moving in that direction. I think the roundabout merits another visit on your part at a busier time.

    I think what bothers me most of all is the apparent rush to build more roundabouts. I worry because our city has a history of hurrying to establish facts on the ground so it's impossible to go back and change them. Santa Barbara has the right idea. Proceed cautiously and put them in temporarily so they can be removed if they don't work. But our city also has a history of not spending money carefully. I'm thinking of that $10,000 tree in the Santa Fe roundabout. Someone got a high mark up on that. A much smaller and cheaper tree could have been used. After all trees do grow.

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  2. Thanks, JP, and cardiffian for two helpful, factual, and down to earth posts.

    Yes, I think Santa Barbara's approach, and Rancho Santa Fe's approach, both seem more balanced and cautious.

    I agree, with cardiffian, JP. We, and the City Engineers, need to define what traffic calming means, and to actually observe the Santa Fe and the Carlsbad roundabouts during peak traffic periods.

    Thanks, always, for providing a forum for sharing information, allowing us to voice our concerns and our suggestions for improving our community, JP.

    This will benefit all of us, and future generations. When the candidates claim they support improving our quality of life, we want to feel sure they mean for the benefit of the entire community, not just the developers and speculators who drive the market. Surely, the marketplace, unchecked, can be a jungle.

    I want to empower our local government to work to advance the public trust and the greater common good.

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  3. I totally agree. Cost effective, and pedistrian friendly.

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  4. I walk and drive the Sante Fe Roundabout all the time. I love it.

    I hope the City moves forward with more roundabouts. They definitely limit or calm the speed of traffic. That kid that killed Josh could not go 85 mph through a roundabout.

    I surfed Birdrock a few weeks ago and saw that Birdrock has two roundabouts. They appeared to be working well, although their landscaping isn't up to Encinitas Standards.

    Leucadia Blvd. west of I5 is a local Collector street as it should remain-not a major arterial street. I rather keep the volume and speeds down on Leucadia Blvd west of I5 so we don’t end up looking and feeling like a crappy LA beach community.

    Do we want a 6 lane roadway all the way up to Beacons beach so San Ellijo Hills Surf Club can save a few seconds on the road?

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  5. I looked on the web and found an excellent web page with fascinating statistics. Now I am really impressed with modern roundabouts.

    Take a look:

    http://www.azdot.gov/CCPartnerships/Roundabouts/faq.asp

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  6. Wow- Check out the FAQs

    Frequently Asked Questions


    What is a Roundabout?
    A Roundabout is a one way circular intersection without traffic signal equipment in which traffic flows around a center island.

    What is a Modern Rundabout?
    A Modern Roundabout is a new form of intersection control that provides safe and efficient traffic flow. It operates with yield control at the entry points, and gives priority to vehicles within the Roundabout.
    Why build a Roundabout instead of a Traffic Signal?
    Roundabouts move traffic safely and efficiently through an intersection because of:

    Slower speeds
    Fewer conflict points
    Easy decision making

    Studies show that Roundabouts provide a:
    90% reduction in fatal crashes
    75% reduction in injury crashes
    30-40% reduction in pedestrian crashes
    10% reduction in bicycle crashes

    Slower vehicle speeds (under 25mph) mean:
    Drivers have more time to judge and react to other vehicles and pedestrians
    Easier to use for older and novice drivers
    Reduction in the severity of accidents
    Pedestrians are safer

    Efficient traffic flow:

    Traffic always on the move with less delay
    30-50% increase in traffic capacity
    Other Benefits:
    Reduction in pollution and fuel use
    Less noise due to fewer stops and starts
    No signal equipment to install and repair
    Provides traffic calming
    Improves visual quality and character through aesthetic landscaping

    What is the difference between a Traffic Circle and a Modern Roundabout?


    Modern Roundabouts are different than traffic circles in the following ways
    Traffic circles can involve stop signs or stop signals
    Traffic circles can be very large or very small
    Traffic circles can operate at higher speeds and often require motorists to move from one lane to another
    Some traffic circles still exist in the USA, however safety and operational problems caused many of them to fall out of favor in the 1950s and 60s.
    Modern Roundabouts are not Traffic Circles
    Modern Roundabouts follow a yield at entry rule, which requires approaching vehicles to wait for a gap in the circulating traffic before entering the Roundabout
    Modern Roundabouts involve low speeds for traffic entering and driving through the Roundabout
    Modern Roundabouts use deflection to slow entering traffic and enhance safety
    Vehicles in the Modern Roundabout have the right of way

    Why Modern Roundabouts?
    The Phoenix area and Arizona are consistently worst in the nation for fatalities resulting from red light runners at traditional intersections. The geometry of a Modern Roundabout is designed so all motorists have to slow down. Modern Roundabouts reduce accidents by 40% to 60%, reduce injury accidents by 80% and fatal accidents by as much as 90%!

    The distinguishing differences between traffic circles and Modern Roundabouts are:

    Modern Roundabouts have a smaller diameter than most traffic circles, resulting in safer conditions and lower speeds.
    Vehicles can enter Modern Roundabouts much easier than traffic circles due to flared approaches, entry angles, slower speeds on the circulating roadway and the fact that vehicles entering Roundabouts always yield to circulating traffic.
    Properly planned Modern Roundabouts are designed using rigorous standards based on specific turning volumes. Traffic circles are typically sized based on land availability and or road distance needed for accomplishing high speed weave movements.
    Many of us have experience with a large, old style traffic circle (also called rotaries in some locations). The DuPoint Circle in Washington D.C. for example is a traffic circle. Traffic circles are large in diameter, have high circulating speeds and can require some merging and weaving between lanes to exit. Traffic circles exhibit poor operations and high crash rates. Driving through traffic circles can be unnerving to the uninitiated driver, heck in some instances driving through traffic circles can be unnerving to even initiated drivers!

    People unfamiliar with the Modern Roundabout often assume they cause similar problems since they are circular too, plus that term Roundabout was tossed around in Great Britain in the 1920s so naturally lots of us are/were confused by that.

    Here is a brief history about traffic circles and Modern Roundabouts:

    In 1966, research in Great Britain led to a yield at entry rule. The yield at entry rule ended a locking problem in the Modern Roundabout, improved capacity, reduced crashes and created a complete change in philosophy of Roundabout design and operation.
    In the mid–1970s research continued and engineers came up with another variable that introduced a revised design that recommended a curved vehicle path or deflection be added to prevent vehicles from taking too straight a path into the intersection.
    The term Modern Roundabout really took root because by the year 1984 the Modern Roundabout came into being with three principal features:
    yield to the traffic in the circle
    deflection at entry and
    low design speed

    Wouldn't a traffic signal be safer than a Roundabout?
    Research from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows far fewer crashes occur at intersections with Roundabouts than at intersections with signals or stop signs. Modern Roundabouts are substantially safer than intersections controlled by stop signs, traffic signals or traffic circles. The majority of U.S. Roundabouts have excellent safety performance because of their small diameter (compared to traffic circles), slower circulating speeds, flared approach and deflection, and yield control entrances. Studies from around the world have shown Modern Roundabouts typically reduce crashes by 40 to 60 percent compared to stop signs and traffic signals. They also typically reduce injury crashes by 35 to 80 percent and almost completely eliminate fatal and incapacitating crashes.

    Considering the massive costs to society related to traffic injuries and deaths, this is an extremely important benefit associated with Modern Roundabouts.

    Couldn't a traffic signal handle higher traffic volumes better than a Roundabout?
    Many people don't realize how many vehicles can be processed at a properly designed Modern Roundabout intersection. In most situations a Modern Roundabout can handle higher traffic volumes with less delay than traffic signals.

    A two lane Roundabout will handle 3,500 to 5,000 vehicles an hour. It would take three travel lanes and usually dual left turn lanes in each direction to match that capacity. In other words, a two–lane Roundabout will handle the same capacity as other major intersections in the Valley and a three–lane Roundabout will handle up to 6,000 vehicles an hour.

    Wouldn't a Roundabout cost more than a traffic signal?
    In some situations, Modern Roundabouts require more right–of–way at intersections than traffic signals, resulting in higher initial costs. However, in other cases, traffic signals require numerous lanes and lengthy turn lanes (for storage) to effectively move traffic through the intersection. In these situations, traffic signals may require more total right-of-way than Roundabouts. Additionally, Modern Roundabouts often solve traffic congestion problems without requiring road segments to be widened between intersections (known as the "wide nodes, narrow roads" philosophy) resulting in a net cost savings. Another factor worth consideration is costs associated with crashes. Because they result in far fewer injury and fatal crashes than traffic signals, Modern Roundabouts produce lower long–term costs to society as a result of these crashes. Also, Roundabouts do not require as much maintenance as signals and only require electricity for lighting at night. These factors result in long term cost savings. Considering all of these items, Modern Roundabouts may cost more than traffic signals initially but are far less expensive in the long run.

    Modern Roundabouts might work in other locations, but can they work with our aggressive drivers?
    Aggressive driving affects other motorists regardless of what kind of traffic controls are in place. Aggressive drivers are less of a safety threat when intersections are controlled by Modern Roundabouts than traffic signals and stop signs because (1) the potential for head-on and broadside crashes is almost completely eliminated with Roundabouts and (2) speeds are lower. Modern Roundabouts have been implemented with success throughout the world and U.S. Many of these locations have drivers that are aggressive, and Modern Roundabouts have worked well.

    Modern Roundabouts are confusing.
    Modern Roundabouts are different from traffic signals and will require drivers to learn how they operate. Experience in the U.S. has shown that motorists quickly adapt to this new type of intersection. Perhaps the best illustrations of this are Vail and Avon, Colorado, the location of numerous high capacity Roundabouts. Both of these cities are major tourist destinations with many thousands of first time Roundabout drivers using the Roundabout intersections each year. A similar situation exists on the campus of Michigan State University where the Modern Roundabout at the intersection of Bogue Street and Shaw Lane sees an influx of new inexperienced drivers with each new freshman class. Despite large numbers of drivers who have not driven Roundabouts previously, these intersections work well and do not confuse motorists. Additionally, proper use of the signing and striping at Roundabouts assists motorists and minimizes the potential for confusion.

    Will older drivers have a more difficult time negotiating Modern Roundabouts than traffic signals?
    Two comprehensive studies of Modern Roundabouts in the USA have shown that the average age of drivers involved in crashes did not increase following replacement of traffic signals and stop signs with Modern Roundabouts. Although not conclusive, these results suggest that Modern Roundabouts do not pose a problem for older drivers.

    Will the Roundabout be unsafe for pedestrians and bicycles?
    Auto-pedestrian crash rates are usually lower at Modern Roundabouts than traffic signals. Those pedestrian injuries that do occur tend to be less serious due to the relatively low speeds encountered at Modern Roundabouts. Legitimate concerns have been raised regarding the ability of blind pedestrians to negotiate Roundabouts, and this topic is under consideration within the U.S. transportation community. At intersections, which are used by blind pedestrians, other countries such as the United Kingdom have implemented design measures including signalized crosswalks with good success. Where appropriate, these measures will promote safe conditions for blind pedestrians.

    Properly designed Roundabouts also safely accommodate bicycles. Because vehicles are traveling at low speeds, which are comparable to bicycle speeds, bicycles can negotiate a Roundabout like motorized vehicles. Bicycles have two choices to negotiate a Roundabout. The more avid and skilled bicyclists can merge into a traffic lane before the bike lane ends; ride close to the middle of the lane to prevent vehicles from passing and cutting the bicyclist off; enter the Roundabout after yielding to vehicles within the Roundabout; circulate the Roundabout being careful to watch for vehicles waiting to enter the Roundabout; and exit the Roundabout as a normal vehicle would do. Bicyclists not wanting to enter the Roundabout can enter the sidewalk using the ramps where the bike lane ends, and proceed around the Roundabout as a pedestrian.

    Won't emergency vehicles be slowed down by the Roundabout? Can a fire truck safely negotiate the Roundabout?
    A Roundabout is designed to safely operate at about 20 mph. The average speed for Modern Roundabouts is between 15 and 25 miles an hour. The time lost negotiating the Roundabout will only be a few seconds.

    Roundabouts are carefully designed to accommodate emergency and large sized vehicles. Drivers should behave in the same manner as they would on any other road if an emergency vehicle approaches - yield to emergency vehicles in the Modern Roundabout. Exit and if you can, pull over.

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  7. You know, elizabeth, you aren't going to convince anyone by spamming this blog with your irrelevant drivel from some unnamed source, that does not speak to the situation on Leucadia Blvd. or to the Carlsbad roundabout.

    "Roundabouts are carefully designed to accommodate emergency and large sized vehicles. Drivers should behave in the same manner as they would on any other road if an emergency vehicle approaches - yield to emergency vehicles in the Modern Roundabout. Exit and if you can, pull over"

    That is bogus, as our own Fire Chief explained. The too small radius will not work well for emergency vehicles. You are just repeating what you already said in your past spamming comments on previous posts.

    The only difference between a "modern roundabout" and traditional roundabouts is a yield sign. It's not the "newness" that's confusing; it's the fact that many people, on the main "artery" will not yield, and do not in other cities.

    The web listed no other roundabouts in San Diego County, if that is the Bird Rock you are talking about. We don't need a campaign of disinformation here, spewed out by contractors hoping to be hired by our city, or any city, or by developers, hoping to make the traffic circulation element look good on paper so they can get their high density projects through the Coastal Commission and the courts.


    elizabeth, are you the wife of Tom Brown, who built the Santa Fe roundabout? You and john would have a lot more credibility if you would stop repeating the same old jive PR spin, and attempt to address some of the specific issues and questions brought up by JP and others. The title of this post is "My Burning Roundabout Questions."

    Your phony "boilerplate" FAQ's have already been answered and dealt with in previous posts and comments. Please, we need a study of the roundabout we have and the Carlsbad roundabout at peak traffic hours.

    Repeating a lie, or other people's massaging statistics for financial gain only makes the pro-roundabout position look more and more untrustworthy.

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  8. I just checked out that link, provided by "john" and apparently referred to by elizabeth.

    That is from the Arizona Dept. of Transportation. They are comparing "modern roundabouts" to traffic circles with stoplights.

    They are also comparing intersections with traffic signals to those with roundabouts. There is no comparison for stop signs vs. roundabouts. There is no discussion of pedestrian safety regarding the questions JP raised. Did these guys bother reading JP's and cardiffian's posts? I doubt it . . .

    Yes, the actual author, his affiliations, is not revealed. Government likes to develop, too. We need to study roundabouts some more, like Rancho Santa Fe is doing, like Santa Barbara, before we go tumbling into more expenses, more debt.

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  9. Clicked on JP's link to the Santa Barbara roundabout info, DAS WILLIAMS Blog. Here's some excerpts:

    "The city has a mixed track record when it comes to the circles. Last year, it installed a roundabout in front of Santa Barbara High School, on Anapamu and Alta Vista streets. The roundabout was met with fierce opposition from motorists who said they were never informed about the traffic circle and that it was actually creating a safety hazard. In the face of opposition and media attention, the city pulled the roundabout."

    . . . "I don't know whether it has worked at all in terms of calming traffic," Dr. Secord said. "I am kind of inclined to thinking it's not working very well. I don't know that anybody on the council was in the room when this was decided."

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  10. To Lynn Braun and Anon-


    The Federal Highway Administration website posted in an earlier post and the AZ Department of Transportation are not "Conspiracies" trying to spread roundabouts because they want to help developers.

    The Public Highway Agencies are posting information to educate the public about the improved safety from Roundabouts.

    As most of us know, there will always be naysayer against any item and I feel you two will always be naysayers on roundabouts. Thankfully for Leucadia, there are a majority of people with common sense that support Roundabouts. I bet like explained in the Santa Barbara link, the ratio throughout CA is 85% like and 15% dislike. That’s about the same percentage of people with common sense (85%) and without common sense (15%).

    Lynn- The ADOT website does mention 4 way stops:

    Research from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows far fewer crashes occur at intersections with Roundabouts than at intersections with signals or stop signs. Modern Roundabouts are substantially safer than intersections controlled by stop signs, traffic signals or traffic circles. The majority of U.S. Roundabouts have excellent safety performance because of their small diameter (compared to traffic circles), slower circulating speeds, flared approach and deflection, and yield control entrances. Studies from around the world have shown Modern Roundabouts typically reduce crashes by 40 to 60 percent compared to stop signs and traffic signals. They also typically reduce injury crashes by 35 to 80 percent and almost completely eliminate fatal and incapacitating crashes.

    Considering the massive costs to society related to traffic injuries and deaths, this is an extremely important benefit associated with Modern Roundabouts.

    Anon- If you think I’m lying, go check Bird Rock yourself. Or maybe there is a conspiracy to hide them? What my eyes saw were two roundabouts on La Jolla Village Drive in Bird Rock.

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  11. "I am wondering what the purpose of the Leucadia Blvd roundabouts really are?

    1. Is it traffic calming? I think that means slowing people down. Do we want people to go slower on Leucadia Blvd? Seriously, traffic is not traveling all that fast on Leucadia Blvd right now. Few houses are really exposed to that street and no kids are playing street hockey there.

    2. If Leucadia Blvd is supposed to be an artery are arteries supposed to be 25mph?

    3. The main burning question is, are roundabouts really safer for pedestrians? The pedestrian crossings are not in the middle of the roundabout like I've heard some people claim. They are before, and well marked. But I noticed that when driving through a roundabout, you are concentrating on making the curve and watching for vehicles that don't yield. The first pedestrian crossing you encounter before entering the roundabout is obvious, but the one the other side as you exit is tricky. It may be hard to see pedestrians already in the roundabout crosswalk, especially at night.

    I would guess that any pedestrians struck at roundabouts were hit by vehicles exiting, not entering.

    I propose some sort of push button flashing light in the ground for pedestrians, like the they have at the non-stop sign pedestrian crossings in Del Mar.

    There has been a lot of heated roundabout discussion on this blog and a lot of the ins and outs have been well covered.

    Santa Barbara is feeling the same growing pains that Encinitas is. Read this blog entry about Santa Barbara roundabouts DAS WILLIAMS Blog: Roundabouts."

    "john," you didn't answer JP's questions. You didn't address previous comments and questions about the Santa Barbara link and the unsuccessful roundabouts there.

    You are pro-roundabout. We get it. You don't want to study our roundabout on Santa Fe during peak traffic. We get it. You don't want to wait until the city wide traffic circulation study is released. We get it.

    You continue to use first and last names when you don't offer yours. You are a coward. We get it.

    I didn't know about any roundabout in La Jolla. A traffic circle is not the same as a roundabout, according to your own sources that you provided. Also, through the web source you provided before, only two roundabouts come up as existing in San Diego County, the one in Carlsbad and the one on Santa Fe Drive, here. The Bird Rock location may not be considered a roundabout. I don't know the circumstances there. If it is a roundabout, then we could study the effectiveness of that one, as well. I'm just asking that the City could look before it leaps into two or three more roundabouts on Leucadia Blvd. That would make matters worse, not better.

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  12. "john," you misquote, again, when you refer to the DAS WILLIAMS blog link that JP shared with us:

    "City officials said that the traffic-calming devices have been paid for partly by a $300,000 state grant.

    They also claim that 85 percent of about 400 people in the St. Francis neighborhood expressed support for the traffic-calming devices."

    Okay, why can't our City get a $300,000 grant? Why do you give out more disinformation that 85% of the people, overall, support roundabouts statewide, or on Leucadia Blvd.?

    RSPB went to rehab, and he came out as a "john."

    You give yourself away, every time. Remember, Starkist only wants tunas that taste good, Charlie.

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  13. lynn everyone knows you are anon. Please start a good example by not wearing out us readers. You are hogging the conversation and repeating yourself to the point of deterioration this forum.

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  14. Does anyone other than Lynn think that a roundabout instead of a traffic signal is better under low volume? I think they make sense. I don't know about the public saftey issue with regard to emergency vehicles and don't how they can be better than stop signs.

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  15. Geez- Anon and Lynn- Us folks in Leucadia are just trying to improve our unsafe street. I found a great web page for the Bird Rock roundabouts.

    If the roundabouts are good enough for Cardiff, Santa Barbara, Birdrock and Rancho Santa Fe; then roundabout are good enough for Leucadia. We only have 2 planned on Leucadia Blvd. in the first phase. Bird Rock currently has 2 and they are going to build 3 more. A total of 5 on La Jolla Boulevard. The website also has great articles and a pdf of their plan.

    Take a look:

    http://www.sandiego.gov/citycouncil/cd1/neighborhoods/lajolla/brocktraffic.shtml

    Roads & Infrastructure
    Bird Rock Traffic Management, Parking & Traffic Calming

    La Jolla Boulevard is in sad shape. Properties are run down and rents are low. Landscaping is meager. Traffic zooms through at speeds that are intimidating to those who try to park or walk across the street. All this in the middle of Bird Rock, one of the nicest and otherwise most cohesive neighborhoods in all of San Diego.
    In April 2001, Councilman Peters worked with the Bird Rock Community Council and convened "Bird Rock Week," a series of town hall meetings to talk about possible solutions to these problems. The consensus of those and other meetings was a desire for professional help to determine a traffic calming plan and way to increase walkability in and around the Bird Rock Village. Councilman Peters found the resources to hire Dan Burden, a nationally recognized authority on bicycle and pedestrian facilities and programs, to help. Mr. Burden has 25 years of experience in developing, promoting and evaluating alternative transportation facilities, traffic calming practices and sustainable community design. He served for 16 years as Florida's State Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator, and he presently works as Executive Director of Walkable Communities, Inc., a non-profit corporation helping North America develop walkable communities.
    Mr. Burden and his firm have worked with the community to analyze issues of traffic and speeds in the neighborhood, and developed a plan around community input and the data from this analysis. The proposed plan has three phases of improvements. Phase One would include restriping a number of roads throughout Bird Rock to promote better traffic conditions and behaviors. Phase Two involves reconstruction of La Jolla Boulevard to include five "roundabouts," and the reconstruction of La Jolla Mesa, Linda Rosa and Colima; as well as other intersection improvements such as bulb outs and short medians. Finally, Phase Three incorporates additional roundabouts and traffic treatments around the neighborhood.
    Bird Rock Traffic Calming and Traffic Management Plan (PDF: 5.8Mb)
    Map of the Bird Rock Plan (PDF: 813K)
    Councilman Peters' Article in the La Jolla Light on this subject.
    Union Tribune article about the plan.

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  16. Woops. The web page address was cut. Sorry.

    http://www.sandiego.gov/citycouncil/cd1/neighborhoods/lajolla/brocktraffic.shtml

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  17. http://www.sandiego.gov/citycouncil/cd1/neighborhoods/

    lajolla/brocktraffic.shtml

    I hope this one works.

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  18. John,

    Did you describe what makes Leucadia Blvd so dangerous or such a public hazard? I don't expect data, just your observations.

    You don't want people to think you are one of those environazis that are trying to make driving miserable because they think it will cause a behavioral revolution and everyone is going to wake up one morning and not use their car anymore. In some places that is the real goal of 'traffic calming'

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  19. It does sound like Charlie Marvin and buddies are trying to Gucci out Leucadia. We are not La Jolla. How many roundabouts does La Jolla presently have?

    Do any of these roundabouts already exist, as described in john's endless "quotes," of non-attributed authors? John is being hypocritical when he does super long posts from the Arizona Dept. of Transportation. This is someone with an agenda to pay out more and more taxpayer dollars to capital projects.

    Read about the Santa Barbara roundabout through JP's link, under his post, "My Burning Roundabout Questions."

    starman, I'd say john is wearing out the readers. cardiffian and I and JP are not the same person.

    I'd say, before you accuse someone of hogging the blog, you should look at john; ask him what his motives are, why he won't "allow" public input without attacking the messengers. He will not consider the facts specific to Encinitas and Leucadia.

    Look to Council, including ex council Guerin and family. The city is all for plunging into roundabouts, as was obvious at the Planning Commission meeting.

    According to the Santa Barbara piece, they put in a roundabout, and the people were so unhappy with it, they took it back out.

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  20. To Starman- From my observations and hearing what others said at the public workshops; the need for intersection control from roundabouts at Hymettus and Hermes is to address:

    1. Safe access onto Leucadia Boulevard- Currently most residents of the area avoid accessing Leucadia Blvd. at Hymettus and Hermes. Instead they use Hygeia which creates additional traffic hazards at Hygeia.

    2. The roundabouts will help slow west bound traffic speeding down Leucadia Blvd. from I5 to reduce the likelihood of them blowing through the Hygeia 4 way Stop at high speed. I have witnessed over 5 non-stopping violators at high speed that could have easily killed someone had they pulled out in front of the non-stopping vehicle.

    3. It is very unsafe to cross Leucadia Blvd. on foot between I5 and Vulcan when traffic is high (which is getting very common). The roundabouts will dramatically improve the safety of pedestrians including numerous school kids crossing Leucadia Blvd at rush hour.

    I’m sure there are others if someone else would like to add a few.

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  21. Can we get the questions about pedestrian safety re the crosswalks with obstructed vision answered?

    I don't believe there are that many people speeding through the stop sign at Hygeia. I've never seen that happen. People usually want to avoid the stop sign and the lights, and take La Costa, if they can.

    Pedestrian crossings need to be improved, no argument. Roundabouts are not the best way to do that, in my opinion.

    I notice the following misleading excerpt re the posted opinions of Arizona govt. officials:

    "A two lane Roundabout will handle 3,500 to 5,000 vehicles an hour. It would take three travel lanes and usually dual left turn lanes in each direction to match that capacity. In other words, a two–lane Roundabout will handle the same capacity as other major intersections in the Valley and a three–lane Roundabout will handle up to 6,000 vehicles an hour."

    Notice this is not talking about a coastal area like ours. More importantly, it's talking about two or three lane roundabouts, not three one lane roundabouts, one after the other.

    "Modern Roundabouts require more right–of–way at intersections than traffic signals, resulting in higher initial costs."

    Of course we don't need more stop lights. Perhaps one more stop sign will become necessary to prevent back ups and delay that would result in two or three more roundabouts, all on one road, Leucadia Blvd. Doesn't make fiscal sense, either.

    Finally, the roundabouts are still being studied in Rancho Santa Fe, where the Covenant and the citizens are working, together, through the county. The roundabouts will go through complete environmental review, there, according to Coast News Groups and previous posted RSF Review.

    We don't need to jump on the roundabout bandwagon to the point of stupidity. We can all figure out that two more are not a smart move for Leucadia Blvd. "traffic calming." Two or three more would cause worse back ups and delays.

    starman, the reason that people are repeating is because john and elizabeth refuse to address the questions. john seems like he has a big development agenda, and wants to push those who disagree off this blog. This blog won’t deteriorate unless people let bullies scare them off.

    You don’t know who is who anymore than we know who you are. People value their anonymity and that’s fine. But I don’t think you are fair, or effective with your agenda, ganging up on a particular person posting here.

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  22. Lynn- The reason I and other gang up on you is you keep posting the same stuff and we are tired of the same stuff. Please get some new material. It doesn't matter if you post under Lynn, Anon, or Smith, your writing all screams Lynn's old message.

    My motive is I would like my wife and I, my kids, my friends, and their kids and grandkids to all be able to safely walk across and on Leucadia Blvd. to school or to the beach without being killed. I am also motivated by wanting a safer access to Leucadia Blvd. Is that a good enough motive?

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  23. If your motivation is safety of pedestrians, and a safer access, then why do you not answer JP's question john/elizabeth/starman?

    I looked up, using your sources, roundabout discussions in City of San Diego. Here's what I found:

    "CITY MANAGER'S RECOMMENDATION:
    Adopt the following resolution:
    (R-2003-727)Directing the removal of the traffic roundabout from CIP-52-430;"

    . . .tendency for motorists to speed around this corner. . .These bars should be placed on a temporary basis to determine their effects. ..
    Below: Example of a temporary roundabout.

    I tried to look up roundabouts on the City of Encinitas Web Site. The minutes and agendas are not current. Here on some notes going back to 2001:

    CITY OF ENCINITAS TRAFFIC COMMISSION MINUTES
    Meeting Date December10 2001 530pm
    1 CALL TO ORDERIROLL CALL called to order530PM
    Present Chairperson Christopher Hall Commissioners Pat Klaus Arnie Lewin and Don Rideout Vice chairperson Nathan joined the meeting at550PM
    Absent None
    Also Present Rob Blough Traffic Engineer and Trish Douglas Program Assistant Robert Silk Transit Supervisor North County Transit District, Ray Miller Sgt Encinitas Sheriffs Department
    2 PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
    Commissioner Rideout led the Pledge of Allegiance
    3 ANNOUNCEMENTS
    A Blough announced that the second Citizen Workshop concerning Leucadia Blvd will be held at City Hall on January 15 2002 at 6 PM A consultant has been hired who is an expert in traffic calming and this individual will be holding the workshop The consultant will be presenting some ideas and will also ask citizens for their input in the design for this road If more than three Traffic Commissioners would like to attend Staff will check with the City Clerk s office to see if public notification is needed as their might be a Traffic Commission quorum present at the workshop needs to be in accordance with the Brown Act.

    Staff would like the Commission to help develop a traffic calming protocol and to also develop a rating system for all the streets to determine the extent of problems on a given street A two person ad hoc committee could be appointed to meet with Staff to go over and try to develop a policy The Commission could direct Staff to proceed further and come up with ideas of how to develop a policy and a procedure for dealing with requests For the next six years the City has budgeted 150 000per year to be utilized for traffic safety and calming improvements in the Capital Improvement Budget.

    Staff feels it would be wise to develop criteria and have a ranking system for all the streets where each would be ranked according to the profile and problems on the street number of vehicles speed of vehicles pedestrian traffic length of street cut through traffic number of accidents adjacent to a park or playground etc The street with the most problems would get attention first etc A point system could be developed similar to one done in Carlsbad The Traffic Commission needs to determine which streets are eligible for traffic calming circulation element streets are not

    Staff could also do postcard surveys to get resident feedback and opinions Most agencies seem to start out with the least restrictive methods of traffic calming additional signs striping the road Keep Kids Alive Drive25@ signs radar trailer and police enforcement The next phase would have more restrictive measures Staff could do a survey to see if the residents are interested in these additional methods Lastly some agencies have a procedure for removing traffic calming in case what has been applied is not working."
    *********
    It goes on, and on, but we do want to see the release of the traffic circulation study. Guess I'll have to do a public document request, in person, to see the recent Planning Commission minutes, where the Fire Chief spoke.

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  24. Letter to the Editor NCT 12/28/06

    A developer recently stated that Encinitas needs change. I question why. For many of us who have traveled to various destinations, we relish areas where time appears to have remained exquisitely dormant.

    Our City Council and Planning Commission currently seem bent on forcing more traffic and density building down our throats.

    The Santa Fe Drive area between Lake and Devonshire, a distance of 1.1 miles, is a perfect example of this. In that stretch there are six lights, two dangerous stop sign ingresses, as well as an ill-designed perilous traffic roundabout.

    On the drawing board adjacent to this corridor is a planned 152-unit condo project on 11 acres. In addition there will be two, six-story medical buildings and a three-story parking garage constructed at Scripps Hospital.

    All of these undertakings will add multi-thousands of vehicular trips each day/week, leading to increased unavoidable pollution/safety hazards, thereby affecting an already confined narrow and dangerous two-lane road.

    Our once pristine location is rapidly being destroyed, folks. Contemplate whether development is good or not. More change, anyone?

    GEORGE HEJDUK

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  25. Lynn- When you get the Planning Commision Report and minutes from the City can you please scan it and post it to this site. That would be interesting. Thank you.

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  26. "Our City Council and Planning Commission currently seem bent on forcing more traffic and density building down our throats."

    Get a grip, the Planning Commission and Council are only implimenting our General Plan, with modifications forced by the State of California, and our Specific Plans. If you are unhappy with this, ask to modify the General Plan / Specific Plans (can be done every year). Many of the density issues could be dealt with there, of course you would have to downzone some property here and there. Who will be first to offer their property for downzoning?

    Development is simply exercising the rights that a property currently supports, or can be approved. If the Planning Commission and the Council did not approve the addition of 1 more housing unit, development would still continue. The only things that will deter development are market conditions or moratoria.

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  27. elizabeth, I don't have a scanner. I made that post, before, about the minutes and agendas for the Planning Commission not being current, not Lynn.

    I was able to read about the meeting in the 12/22/06 North County Times. The actual Planning Commission meeting was on 12/21/06. The minutes only go up to Sept. of 06. Seems like the City Clerks should be able to scan these. That's what staff gets paid to do.

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  28. Here's some more from the Encinitas Traffic Commission minutes of December 2001, if anyone's interested. If you're not interested, just skip this post! Let's not kill the messengers!

    What I don't get is how the traffic calming measures went from the Traffic Commission to the Planning Commission, with no environmental impact declaration or finding? This is being required for the proposed Rancho Santa Fe roundabouts. Also, no one I know ever got a post card, or anything in the mail about the roundabouts in 2001, re the previous post describing this.
    ***************
    "Klaus: a deficiency in Carlsbad's toolbox is that there is no indication of the techniques that are applicable in various kinds of scenarios. We need to know where and when it would be appropriate to use traffic circles etc. and other traffic calming techniques. Is there an expert out there?

    Blough indicated that traffic calming is new to the US and guidelines are fairly loose.

    Lewin: what is the difference between traffic circle and roundabouts?

    Blough answered that roundabouts are more often used for larger intersections and a vehicle yields to the traffic already in the roundabout A traffic circle is more of an obstruction and is used on smaller intersections . . .

    The Traffic Commission could develop a laundry list of traffic calming techniques and indicate their degree of effectiveness Nathan brought up the fact that if more than two Traffic Commissioners participate in the ad hoc committee it would be a violation of the Brown Act unless residents are notified of the committee meeting and subject.
    *********************
    So, what we have on Santa Fe, and what is being proposed is actually a traffic circle. I guess the City must feel "roudabout" sounds sexier than traffic circle. But the purpose is to slow down traffic, not to "calm it," according to the traffic commissioners' own definitions, here. A small radius traffic circle is an obstruction. A true roundabout would have more than one lane and would speed up traffic, not delay it, according to our Traffic Commissioners.

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  29. Kind of long, but interesting. The reason a roundabout, in theory, could speed traffic up, is that people wouldn't have to stop for a stop sign, but would slow down, for the curve. The delays and accidents come in when people don't yield. Also, the way the one on Santa Fe is designed, if there were a lot of pedestrians, there would be problems. I haven't seen that many pedestrians trying to cross Leucadia. I do see people trying to cross the railroad tracks, which is a bigger issue, to me.

    What I heard was about 60 neighbors got together with a petition? I'm not sure about this, but I thought they were asking for another stop sign?

    I didn't get notified about any workshops, either.

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  30. someones cuteless. If you're interested in the issues and how the project transpired-Go read the planning commissions staff report for accurate information.

    Lynn- Please quite repeating the same crap all the time, your killing this blog and our fellow Leucadians will not be as tolerant of you as they have in the past.

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  31. Bossypants is backJanuary 30, 2007 12:40 PM

    We can talk about the issues here all we want, Bossypants.

    The City should have the Planning Commission Reports scanned and posted, too, from 12/21, I say.

    I don't think anyone here is scared that "Leucadians will not be as tolerant of you as they have in the past." That's hilarious, chicken sh~t, anonymous. You are blowing smoke right out of your "straight pipe."

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  32. Preserve ResourcesJanuary 30, 2007 1:07 PM

    To Lynn and others interested-

    Below is the link to the archived Staff Report on the Leucadia Blvd. Safety Improvements. All the facts are in the staff report. No need to waste paper.

    http://archive.cityofencinitas.org:2040/docview.aspx?id=610398

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  33. Thank you for the link. I couldn't find the planning commission minutes by searching on the City's Website, or going to the archived docs.

    Also, I'd like to sincerely apologize, now, to elizabeth, for comments to you, before. I have felt so bullied lately, I'm sorry if I was being paranoid, dear. I've done plenty of long posts myself!

    I did see an elizabeth, with a "z," as one of the letters of opposition to roundabouts sent to the city.

    Whether you are the same person, or not, I did overreact, and I apologize.

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  34. Lynn-

    Paranoid is not the word. Its called paranoid schizophrenic.

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  35. Lynn you need to accept some level of blogging etique. Please.

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  36. Suddenly all of these posts in support of roundabouts are making sense. I did a Google search with Roundabouts La Jolla Bird Rock. And guess what comes up in number one position? It is a Union-Tribune article about the Barratt American development Seahaus complete with roundabouts in Bird Rock.

    Wow! So it is Michael Pattinson or one or more of his colleagues praising the roundabouts and claiming their efficacy and safety. I guess it's easier to say that rather than how the roundabouts will drive development and more traffic.

    The Nantucket project at Sheridan and Andrew was not enough for David Meyer and Michael Pattinson. They must have big plans for Leucadia. I can't see how this will be good for Leucadia after what happened on Andrew. How low will Barratt American stoop with personal attacks and insults in order to get what them want in Leucadia and earn their forty pieces of silver?

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  37. Bird rock La Jolla Boulevard has 2 existing Roundabouts and the 3rd will be installed starting in May

    Check it out:

    http://www.birdrock.org/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=353

    La Jolla Boulevard
    Bid opening for the Main boulevard improvements will be end of March 2007 with contract award by early May; construction will start shortly thereafter. Bird Rock Merchants voted to waive the Summer Moratorium and supported a preferred work schedule of 10 hour days/4 days a week in order to leave Fri, Sat, Sun with no construction activity.

    Contract includes: replacement of sewer main and laterals replacement on the 5600 and 5700 blocks of the boulevard. The La Jolla Hermosa/Forward traffic circle is also in this package. Also includes sewer main replacement on La Jolla Mesa, just south of Colima to just north of Linda Rosa, and on Colima, from Taft to La Jolla Mesa. There will be major traffic control plans in place on the boulevard during construction similar to what was done for the previous sewer/water project as well as the SeaHaus roundabout construction. Hardhat Communications will once again be hired by the City to be the point of contact for resident & merchant concerns and questions.

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  38. From a La JollianJanuary 31, 2007 7:47 AM

    Stay away from "roundabouts". They are a disaster. They are a shill for more development and density. They are extremely dangerous.

    They have resulted in this, trying to change our planned district:

    http://www.hb3urbandesign.com/form-based_code_01_15.pdf

    They are trying to bust our Planned District, which you can find here:

    http://www.lajollabythesea.com/files/7/La%20Jolla%20PDO.pdf

    Mick Pattinson LOVES roundabouts! So that should tell you somthing.

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  39. Thanks, La Jollian, and Anonymous. I feel much better. I just found out that tomorrow by 5 p.m. is the last day to appeal the Planning Commission's okay of the roundabouts on Leucadia Blvd. to the Coastal Commission.

    Michael Pattinson and his gang of bullies appear to love to distract from the questions asked by JP on the original post here, by attacking me, attempting to persuade readers, many of whom often don't post, that I'm the only one with serious questions and concerns about the efficiency and safety of having roundabouts less than a quarter mile apart, on the same street where we have a fire station!

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  40. You might have good issues but your delivery of the message has lost your cause.

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  41. Longtime LeucadianJanuary 31, 2007 1:59 PM

    I welcome the roundabouts which will save lives and promote a walkable Leucadia!

    ReplyDelete
  42. The issues are what matter, not my delivery. It's not my cause, but something that all of who care about traffic and coastal access are concerned about. My "cause" is peaceable dwelling, driving, and my values are focused on honest qualities of life.

    These posts are not all by me. I'm going to repeat what I just posted on JP's more recent thread:

    "anon 1143," you are a cyber bully, and a "bossypants." Stop slamming me, and please leave my name out of this.

    Address the topic, not me, A-hole.

    A-holes provide for a primary function in life; releasing sh~t.

    Leave me alone and get off my back. I have a right to post here like anyone else. I am not everyone who disagrees with you. You are not a psychiatrist, but you need psychological help. You are the obsessive, bi-polar, schizophrenic, not I, as you snidely imply.

    Thanks for getting me motivated to call the Coastal Commission. Your antagonism toward me, personally, must get you some kind of fiendish satisfaction, jerk.

    1/31/2007 4:02 PM

    *****************
    You are actually attracting attention to "my cause," as you did with Maggie Houlihan in the election, before, with your cruel clown.

    Cyber clown bully, bossypants, fake drunken bum, you are an anonymous coward. You love to be anonymous because then you can be even more phony and hateful. Bob had you pegged.

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  43. What does "walkable Leucadia!" mean? I understand adding sidewalks to the 101, but roundabouts on leucadia?

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  44. Walkable means getting people out of their cars. Example is to walk to the Pannikan instead of drive.

    Or if you live east of the tracks- Walk to Beacons or to one of the fine restaurants- No need to get in your car. Currently it is so unsafe few dare. With a safe walkable roadway more will get out of their cars and walk. This is a good thing for the community, pollution and peoples waistlines. More Walking, Less driving.

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  45. Everyone be very aware of a move across the state of California by people who want to social engineer via manipulating traffic infrasturcture. They don't want you to drive and they think they can motivate you to give up your cars by making driving miserable.

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  46. Walkable means getting people out of their cars.

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  47. Encinitas Traffic Commission minutes of December 2001

    ". . .what is the difference between traffic circle and roundabouts?

    . . . roundabouts are more often used for larger intersections and a vehicle yields to the traffic already in the roundabout. A traffic circle is more of an obstruction and is used on smaller intersections . . ."

    These roundabouts are on smaller intersections, and are designed as obstructions which will cause more delays and backups. The fire station is located on Leucadia Blvd. Those living west of Hymettus and Hermes will be endangered by slower response times, as the Fire Marshall discussed at the 12/21/06 Planning Commission Meeting.

    Also, the report from the 12/21/06 meeting at City Hall shows that there was only one accident at Hermes in the last 9.5 years, which was in the last three year period. This equals an .02 "accident rate," according to the City's table. Statewide, at similar intersections, the average accident rate is .22, over ten times more than the Hermes rate. These figures demonstrate that no roundabout is needed at Hermes for safety reasons.

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  48. Dear Lynn:

    you are far from a traffic expert.

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  49. The last post, before Cyber Bully, is reporting the City of Encinitas' own figures compiled by staff, and available online.

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  50. From john's link to the Arizona Dept. of transportation:

    "A two lane Roundabout will handle 3,500 to 5,000 vehicles an hour. It would take three travel lanes and usually dual left turn lanes in each direction to match that capacity. In other words, a two–lane Roundabout will handle the same capacity as other major intersections in the Valley and a three–lane Roundabout will handle up to 6,000 vehicles an hour."

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  51. Roundabouts, here, will be one lane, and more of an obstruction than a traffic "calming" device, particularly with one at Hermes, then a stop sign at Hygeia, then another roundabout at Hymettus, less than a quarter of a mile away.

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  52. The City showed no evidence for the need for a roundabout at Hygeia, according to the figures provided in the 12/21/06 Planning Commission Report, which show only one accident in the last 9.5 years at that intersection.

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  53. Clearly, roundabouts are a ploy to drive high density development as supposed traffic mitigation features for required Environmental Impact Reports.

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  54. Those who oppose continuing increases in high density development, along with more traffic congestion, should be very concerned about the City calling something that will cause worse problems, "traffic calming."

    Just look at the facts, and draw your own conclusions, please. Don't let some anonymous naysayer to more study, or to starting with one temporary roundabout, bulldoze over you by manipulating you with fear and disdain.

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  55. Should be:

    The City showed no evidence for the need for a roundabout at Hermes, or Hygeia, according to the data provided in the 12/21/06 Planning Commission Report, which show only one accident in the last 9.5 years at the Hermes and Leucadia Blvd. intersection.

    The Hygeia intersection had 5 accidents in the last 3 years, which is a .27 accident rate, which is lower than the .41 Statewide average rate for similar intersections.

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  56. If the City has those figures available, on the link provided, does it have a link for a traffic analysis of the intersection where the Santa Fe roundabout is for a three year period?

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  57. Classic-

    The last eight posts from 1:54 to 2:15 pm-thats Lynn on crack!

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  58. Coverage on the science of "walkable" hoods.

    http://www.sciencenews.org/articles/20070120/bob9.asp

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  59. What about the City's data?February 01, 2007 10:31 PM

    What about the figures for lower accident rates than the statewide average? What about the data provided by that pro-roundabout guy?

    I'm not buying into some anonymous poser who keeps screaming, Lynn, Lynn, Lynn. I wish someone would address the City's own figures and the questions raised about development fueled by projected roundabouts as "traffic mitigation."

    Folks are concerned about high density development in all of Encinitas.

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