May 24, 2005
Rain or shine the corner of Emmett Street and Ivy Road is always congested with traffic. Now, the city of Charlottesville wants to relieve some of the jams by replacing the traffic signals with a roundabout, just like the one that will soon be in front of the Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport.
"It would move traffic more safely and quickly through that area," said Dennis Rooker, an Albemarle Supervisor.
"There is less delay because you don't have everybody from one direction waiting for everybody from the other direction to go through. It is clear who can go at a given time," said Harrison Rue, the Executive Director of the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission.
Harrison Rue agrees the roundabout would not only make the traffic run smoother, but studies show it would be safer for motorists as well.
"In the neighborhood of 30 percent less accidents over all, about twice that many accidents of incapacitating injuries and then in terms of fatal injuries approximately 90 percent reduction," said Rue.
Even the Institute for Highway Safety said roundabouts are "an effective safety treatment for intersections."
The planning commission said the next step is convincing the University of Virginia to consider the concept.