Traffic Circle Proposed for Hunter Lake and Mayberry Drives - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Traffic Circle Proposed for Hunter Lake and Mayberry Drives

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Plans for a reconstruction project on a busy Reno intersection could include a roundabout - which is stirring up mixed opinions.

Some residents oppose a roundabout so much that they are holding a rally at the intersection around 6pm Wednesday.

The reconstruction project is happening on the corner of Hunter Lake and Mayberry Drives - in west Reno. Planning for this project is still in the early stages. So the Regional Transportation Commission is listening to what the public is saying about a possible roundabout going in here.
And as we're finding out -- opinions vary.

The possibility of a roundabout is something some say will make the 5-way intersection more functional. Three streets connect at this traffic signal.

"It feels unsafe to me, trying to get out of our neighborhood into that intersection. And the roundabout directly addresses that issue of the Charles Drive access," says Matthew Sanford.

But others say that is too many streets to flow into one traffic circle. "All the sudden, you're gonna have five directions of traffic coming into a single roundabout. So, actually, I think it would be more hazardous," says Joe Panicaro.

The project costs $1.1 million. Adding a roundabout would cost an extra $6-800,000. But would save on annual maintenance and electrical costs.

RTC says their main goal is to make the intersection as safe as possible. "Roundabouts reduce crashes 39%. They reduce injury crashes 76%. So, that's why this is one of the ideas we're looking at for this intersection," says Joe Harrington.

And safety is the main concern of the residents who live here. Especially since Hunter Lake Elementary school is less than a block away.

"With a roundabout, you have constant traffic. You don't have a street light. You don't have crosswalks. You don't have a crosswalk sign."

Others argue that a roundabout will slow traffic and shorten pedestrian crossings. "It really helps people like me that live on Charles Drive, that have children that ride a bicycle and like to go down to the park and the grocery store. It helps access," says Sanford.

Some residents are concerned with the impact it will have on emergency vehicles.

"The firefighters will have to wait for traffic to yield to traffic, once they approach the roundabout and then it's difficult to maneuver those trucks though the roundabout," says Panicaro.

Sanford adds, "When emergency vehicles are going through an intersection and there are lights and there are cars, they're slowed down, no matter what."

RTC says a roundabout would be large enough to accommodate fire trucks. They say the earliest a decision will be made is at the end of the year or even next year.

Written by Paul Nelson
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