Published: Mar 31, 2012 06:00 PM
Modified: Mar 29, 2012 10:39 AM
Cary will soon install two roundabouts at the forks on Chatham Street: one on East Chatham at Durham Road and one at West Chatham at Old Apex Road. Both locations currently have a triangle island and a stop sign. Cary has received an $800,000 federal grant for this project, and the town will provide the remaining $200,000.
Todd Delk, in Cary’s engineering department, said the roundabouts are to create gateways into downtown and slow traffic. So, the town will spend $1 million of taxpayers’ money to remove two triangles and replace them with circles.
Traffic lights between the two locations already slow traffic through downtown. Replacing existing triangles with circles will consume more of the roadways, making it difficult for trucks and school buses to navigate around them. Few people know how to use them properly, so they cause confusion and accidents. (The roundabouts on Hillsborough Street in Raleigh have caused more than one hundred accidents since opening in July 2010, according to recent N&O articles.) And notes from the 2012 town council retreat state, “the funding demand clearly outweighs available capital funds” for planned future projects.
What are the benefits of spending $1 million for unpopular roundabouts? What better ways could we spend $200,000 of Cary's funds? What other attractive gateways could be created downtown? Is this really what the citizens of Cary want? I think not.Marilyn Butler Cary
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