Downtown roundabout is a go

LANCASTER – The Lancaster City Council voted Tuesday night to design and construct a roundabout at the intersection of Lancaster Boulevard and 10th Street West.

The decision came after Public Works Director Robert Neal showed a persuasive video from the Federal Highway Administration on the safety and operational efficiency of traffic roundabouts, and a handful of residents presented strong opinions for and against the downtown roundabout.

Boulevard business owner Adam Chant said he was in favor of the roundabout because he believed the measure would force drivers to reduce their speeds.

Another boulevard business owner, Steven Kinsey, said the roundabout would make for a smoother transition in speeds at the intersection.

“One side of 10th street is 45 miles an hour and on the other side of 10th street, 30 feet away, is 15 miles an hour,” Kinsey said. “So without the roundabout, we’re asking people to go from 45 to 15 in the distance of an intersection.”

But David Abber said the corner of Lancaster Boulevard and  10th Street West was already too congested, and the roundabout project would be “an absolute further nightmare.”

One resident, Roxie Patterson, was set to speak against the downtown roundabout, but changed her mind after viewing the persuasive video presentation from the Federal Highway Administration. Patterson suggested the City make the video immediately available to residents.

“If people felt more comfortable they may not be nay sayers,” said Patterson.

Another convert in favor of the downtown roundabout was City Council Member Marvin Crist. Crist had previously opposed the project, but explained why he was voting in favor of the downtown roundabout Tuesday night.

“I was and still am a skeptic on the roundabout, but I do think that sometimes you have to listen to the professionals,” Crist said. “I don’t like it at this point but I’m going to vote for it because I’m going to listen to the professionals that say it’s going to be better and safer for the community at this time.”

Discussion on the downtown parking strategy plan was tabled until the next City Council Meeting.

  3 comments for “Downtown roundabout is a go

  1. Matt Keltner
    September 14, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    Roundabouts are better for the environment and save electricity. Hopefully, it is done tastefully with a ‘green’ layout that embraces local flora or at least desert-tolerant flora. Hopefully we don’t end up with another “airplane on a stick” motif as the centerpiece. I’m not trying to belittle the aerospace industry, as it has been vital to the local economy, but please…no airplane-on-a-stick!

  2. William
    September 14, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    Is there room enough? Will it be a 2 lane roundabout on just 1. I’ve lived in the Valley, Palmdale, for over 20 years and in all the time I’ve driven through that intersection, I’ve never recalled it being ‘congested’ compared to many other busy intersections here.

    I still don’t ‘get’ the BLVD hype. I went to BeX Monday night at 7:30 PM and there was only 1 table with diners and later 2 more tables besides me. The BLVD was dead. I’ve been to BeX at noon on a weekday and the same 1 or 2 tables of customers. I’ve never seen more than a couple of people in the coffee shop in front of BeX.

    Driving the BLVD is irritating and I must remember not to park in the median because backing out with a steady stream of low speed cars is a pain. I simply went forward and made a ‘U’ turn.

    Then, the plan seems to be high density commercial and residential buildings right up against the sidewalk to give a crowded, oppresive feeling of Los Angeles or parts of the SF Valley with narrow streets, parking on side streets and/or parking structures. Ugh! What I liked about the AV when I moved here was the ‘wide open spaces’, easy parking everwhere and lack of congestion like down below. Lancaster seems to want to go for the urban type density, I guess.

    BTW. As I drove up 10th Street West back to Palmdale, I drove by Parris’s new office and wondered why he never had an office on the wonderful BLVD. There are others there. After navigating the obnoxious traffic in Lancaster, it was a relief to head home to Palmdale where even the traffic around the Mall isn’t as annoying as 6 blocks down the BLVD. I imagine it will only get worse as the building continues and the streets parallel to it aren’t that great to get from one end to the other.

Comments are closed.