Roundabout Construction in the Upper Valley

POSTED: Tuesday, October 6, 2009 - 7:00am

UPDATED: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 - 3:25pm

Roundabouts are common place in Europe, but they are slowly popping up in cities across the U.S. Most people we asked had never heard of them, but they're about to see one in the upper valley. The city of El Paso is building a roundabout at the intersection of Country Club Road and River Run to alleviate congestion. Lynn McKee lives and works nearby. She says it is a good idea.

"We have a lot of clients that come and pick up their dogs after work and that is always a busy time on Country Club," she says, "I hope it will make it easier for them."

But others aren't so optimistic. Some residents and local business owners tell us they are worried about the congestion this could cause and they are not even sure why it is being done in the first place.

The city traffic engineering department says after considering the instillation of various traffic signals in the area, they decided a roundabout was the best option because it eases traffic flow and keeps everyone moving in the same direction.

The current project is designed to be one lane. Traffic will move counter clockwise in a circle and drivers will exit in the direction they need to go. Drivers entering the roundabout will yield to traffic already inside.

Although the project could take a little getting used to, Lynn says she is looking forward to it.

"I think if people can figure out how to use it, it could be great. I think it'll help a lot," she says.

We'll know more about how drivers take to it in December, when the roundabout is finished.

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