More alternatives needed for final boulevard design

Published: August 11, 2012

In response to Neal McLaughlin (Your Views, Aug. 4): The obsolete traffic circle with 10 legs is not what's being advocated. McLaughlin is correct in stating that the configuration isn't workable, but that unimaginative configuration was one ODOT considered in its alternatives analysis. Modern roundabout designs are safe and have sufficient capacity to work well when designed properly, even in areas with fairly high traffic counts.

Carmel, Ind., has even gone so far as to reconfigure more than 70 intersections into modern roundabouts. The angle of entry reduces the severity of any collisions that occur and the approach speeds are lower than intersections with streets at 90 degrees. My primary concern about the boulevard as proposed is the large elevated section. By elevating the boulevard, we'll never see the Farmer's Market district become revitalized. After all, we can see what a divisive, elevated roadway does for a city by looking south of the old Crosstown route today. This in turn will affect the city's plans for the Core to Shore area. I'd like to live in that area some day, but not if the Farmer's Market area remains in its current state. I don't believe many people will invest in an area with urban blight on their rear doorstep.

The Oklahoma City Council took a prudent step in calling for an independent traffic engineer to provide more alternatives from which to select the final boulevard design.

David Dickerson, Edmond

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