Two roundabouts in the Ballantyne area are under construction and scheduled to be finished this fall.
The roundabouts, which include one with two lanes near the entrance to the Morrison YMCA, are part of a project designed to alleviate traffic congestion along Community House Road.
“Roundabouts process traffic more easily than your standard stoplight intersection,” said Derrel Poole, engineering project manager with the City of Charlotte.
“There’s not a lot of stopping, and there’s not a lot of stacking of traffic because traffic is always moving.”
The roundabouts are being constructed at the intersections of Community House Road and Bryant Farms Road, and at Community House Road and Willow Rock Drive, which is the entrance to Blakeney District Park.
Roundabouts process traffic more easily than your standard stoplight intersection.
Derrel Poole, engineering project manager with the City of Charlotte.
Phase one of the project, which included additional turn lanes, new and improved pedestrian crossings and more street lights, has been completed.
The second phase of the project, which is now underway, adds more improvements to Community House Road – end-to-end, uninterrupted sidewalks and bike lanes on Community House Road and a sidewalk on the south side of Bryant Farms Road from Community House Road to the YMCA entrance.
While the project does not widen Community House Road, it does add improvements to better serve the community and all who travel that way motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians.
The cost of the project, which includes planning and design, is about $8.2 million.
The roundabouts were conceived after the state added a bridge connecting Community House Road over I-485 to its widening project in 2012, according to information from the City of Charlotte. Engineers anticipated increased traffic as a result, prompting a redesign of the Community House Road project between Providence Road West and Bryant Farms Road.
The roundabouts will replace three-way stops at those intersections, Poole said. According to information from the City of Charlotte, roundabouts can reduce crashes with injuries up to 76 percent and reduce crashes with fatalities as much as 90 percent because drivers are forced to slow down and have more time to make decisions.
Poole said roundabouts are relatively easy to navigate, and drivers quickly learn how to use them.
More and more are planned in the Charlotte area, including roundabouts at the intersections of N.C. 51 and Idlewild Road and N.C. 51 and Lawyers Road at Bain School Road.
“They are gaining acceptance,” Poole said. “Maybe about 20 years ago there were very few, if any, and now they are becoming more common and people are becoming more accustomed to them.”
He said he expects to the new roundabouts in Ballantyne to improve the flow of traffic.
“As long as you have that traffic that is always moving, I see that it can be nothing but a benefit,” Poole said. “It’s a lot better than what was out there.”
Marty Minchin is a freelance writer: firstname.lastname@example.org.