Penny Lane it's not | Arkansas Blog

Monday, January 11, 2010

Penny Lane it's not

Posted By on Mon, Jan 11, 2010 at 2:38 PM

North Little Rock is pleased as punch about getting federal stimulus money to build a traffic roundabout at West Broadway and Pike Avenue. It will cost $2 million, a lot of pennies. (Sorry, every time I see the word roundabout I think about the Beatles and that pretty nurse selling poppies from a tray behind the shelter in the middle of the roundabout.) A big to-do to announce the work is set this Friday.

Cutting-edge Argenta notes that while roundabouts aren't much employed in the U.S., they've been very successful in Europe and Australia. (Invoking Europe as a model hasn't been particularly politic of late.)



\North Little Rock Mayor Patrick Hays has announced that US Senator Blanche Lincoln and Congressman Vic Snyder will join dozens of city, county state, and neighborhood leaders as they break ground for the City’s new, Recovery Act-funded $2,000,000 Roundabout located at the approximate intersection of Pike Avenue and West Broadway in North Little Rock.  The event, scheduled for 3 pm on Friday, January 15, 2010, will mark the official start of construction on the project which is expected to take up to nine (9) months to construct.  Also participating in the ceremony will be Federal Highway Administration, Arkansas Division Administrator, Ms. Sandra L. Otto. 

About Roundabouts:

Although the United States was home to the first one-way rotary system in the world (implemented around New York City's Columbus Circle in 1904), traffic circles had fallen out of favor in this country by the 1950s. Older traffic circles, located primarily in the northeastern states, encountered serious operational and safety problems, including the tendency to lock up at higher volumes. The modern roundabout, although following different design principles from those of the old circles, has been notably less popular in the United States than abroad, in part because of this country's experience with the traffic circles and rotaries built in the first half of the 20th century.

Since 1990, however, there has been an emergence of the modern roundabout in some parts of the United States. The strong interest expressed in this type of intersection in recent years is partially due to its success in several countries in Europe and in Australia, where the modern roundabout has changed the practice of intersection design.

North Little Rock Roundabout Facts: 

Total diameter:  203 feet

Total circumference:  1,275 feet

Number of circulating lanes:  2 

Traffic advantages:

      1. Ensures continuous traffic movement, unlike “signaled intersections”, thus reducing pollution from idling time;
      2. Pedestrian friendly;
      3. Requires slower speeds, resulting in fewer accidents and injuries’ to citizens.


Construction time:  9 months 

Firms involved:

      Civil Engineering and Design:  McClelland Engineers

      Electrical Design:  Hargrave Engineers

      Landscaping:  Ecological Design Group

      Constructions Contractor:  Redstone Construction Group 

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