|Jeffrey A. Hillegonds, P.E.||August 14, 2002|
In response to the proposed rule to signalize all cross walks at roundabouts.
I am distressed to hear about the proposed rule to signalize all cross walks at roundabouts.
Not only would this be a large financial burden to place at these intersections, it is likely not needed at the vast majority of locations. This type of condition should not be placed as a blanket rule. Signalization, where warranted, can enhance safety for pedestrians and vehicular traffic alike. However, where it is not warranted, it will sometimes increase the risk to pedestrians by confusing drivers or, if the signal is seldom used, creating a dangerous situation because vehicles get used to ignoring unused signals in areas with very few pedestrians.
In addition, the function of the modern roundabout, to promote uninterupted flow through the intersection, particularly at the exits, could be effected, thereby impacting the capacity and safety for pedestrians and motorists alike.
Roundabouts have been constructed, without signalization for pedestrians, in locations like college campuses and other high pedestrian areas with great success.
In my opinion, this rule is not needed at all. A prudent design professional will add signalization where it is warranted. At the very least, the language should be changed significantly, to provide warrants and guidelines for the designer, not a blanket statement that this is required at all locations.
Please consider my comments and re-consider this rule. It is a very bad idea to dictate this type of design at all locations when it really is only needed a very small percentage of the time.
Jeffrey A. Hillegonds, P.E.
Senior Project Manager
Grand Rapids, MI
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