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.