Goshen News, Goshen, IN

March 27, 2014

OUR VIEW: Roundabouts in Goshen make sense


Goshen News

---- — It was good to read in The Goshen News’ report about the last comprehensive plan meeting that Goshen residents who attended favor a roundabout at the intersection of South 15th Street and College Avenue. We too have long favored a roundabout at that location.

South 15th Street is a direct link to a city industrial park and is used by many workers twice a day to come and go from the park. This heavy periodic use, combined with drivers going to the Greencroft retirement community, Goshen College, the supermarket and all the retail stores and restaurants south of town, means this intersection is no longer the local crossroads it was designed to be. Something should be done to improve it.

CREATING A ROUNDABOUT for the intersection is not a new idea, but it is the best option. Back in March 2011 Mayor Allan Kauffman announced during his State of the City address, after vocal opposition to the plan in weeks prior, that he was withdrawing plans for a roundabout at the intersection.

“The community is not ready for it yet,” he said at the time.

Perhaps the pendulum has swung.

AT MONDAY NIGHT’S comprehensive plan hearing, many of those attending said they would like to see a roundabout at the intersection. Hooray for them.

Roundabouts have a long and successful track record of relieving traffic congestion. Drivers simply slow a little, enter the circle, yield to other drivers entering the circle, and then make a slight turn to continue on their way. That’s far safer than risking a sudden impact from a motorist who disregarded a red light at a crossroads intersection. Or, having to stop, wait while burning fuel, and then go on when the light turns green.

Roundabouts have become a popular traffic flow option around South Bend Regional Airport, the University of Notre Dame and throughout South Bend and St. Joseph County. They’re smart options.

Roundabouts continue to grow in popularity in the United States because they are easy to use and safer for drivers. But back in 2011 some vocal Goshen residents resisted the roundabout, and as it was a mayoral election year, the project died.

WE WOULD LIKE TO SEE the mayor, or any other city official, begin to gather together a group of community residents, including those opposed to roundabouts, to gauge if the traffic-easing structure should be built at College and South 15th Street in the coming years.

It’s just good common sense that the best technique to ease congestion and improve safety at that intersection be used. We think those who put their 2 cents in Monday night on the issue of roundabouts have shown us the way forward.