County obtains $622K for roundabout

The Erie County engineer’s office received about $622,000 in state funds to help offset costs for a modern roundabout at West Bogart Road and Campbell Street.
Andy Ouriel
Mar 7, 2014
Securing a stack of state cash paved the way for Erie County officials to eventually morph a dangerous intersection into a safer area.

The Erie County engineer’s office received about $622,000 in state funds to help offset costs for a modern roundabout at West Bogart Road and Campbell Street.

The project will run about $777,000, with local funds covering $155,000.

Area engineers expect the roundabout, forcing drivers to travel in a counterclockwise direction around a central island, to pop up by 2018.

The need for an upgrade stems from 24 crashes in this area from July 2003 through August 2013, local data shows.

Modern roundabout at West Bogart Road and Campbell Street
Local engineers estimate they’ll upgrade the crash-prone intersection by 2018, using a mix of local and state funds: 
$777,000: Total project cost 
$622,000: State funds provided for project 
$155,000: Local taxpayer funds for project 
24: Number of crashes at this intersection from July 2003 through August 2013
Source: Erie County engineer’s office

Engineers didn’t aggressively pursue grant money until a woman died at the intersection this past summer.

“After that fatal accident, we looked back at the crash history. We noticed after the Bogart Road widening project occurred in 2003, the number of accidents increased,” Erie County project engineer Matt Rogers said. “The numbers didn’t go through the roof, but there was enough of an increase where we wanted to look at this area more closely and figure out what is going on”

Engineers preferred constructing a modern roundabout as opposed to installing a traffic signal at the intersection.

The crossing only has two stop signs on Campbell Street and no traffic signal.

Modern roundabouts typically don’t have traffic signals nor stop signs. Drivers must yield before entering the roundabout and can exit once they arrive at their desired street.

Many welcome the changes at this intersection, especially if it improves safety and reduces crashes.

“There has been a number of serious crashes there, and anything the engineers can do to improve that intersection would certainly be appropriate” Erie County Sheriff Paul Sigsworth said.

Comments

DickTracey

This ought to be real entertaining, watching the drunks come out of Lake Wilmer and try to navigate that.

Dilligaff

It would improve safety for everyone to use that money towards firefighters salary instead of lay offs. Just sayin.

Erie County Resident

This is the COUNTY ... Not the CITY.
Pay attention.

Doody

so people are already turning into other people, what's to prevent them from merging into other people and just filling up the central island?

Erie Countian

I wonder how the people who live at that intersection feel about this? All their homes are pretty near the road. There are some roundabouts in NE Ohio and New England that I've used. I think once people get used to it, it'll be fine, but it seems to me a traffic light would be enough.

Erie County Resident

Waste all this money because it looks all "Europeon".
Instead of taking down two totally stupid stop signs and putting up a set of traffic lights that would be a lot cheaper and actually makes sense.

If the bars are the problem maybe sitting on them at closing for drunks would help also.

Erie Countian

I totally agree with you that traffic lights would be a lot less costly. Don't know why the county doesn't just do that instead of the roundabout. To me it seems like that intersection isn't big enough to fit a roundabout without practically having it in people's front yards!

No Wake

Traffic lights cost upward of $200,000 to install, plus you've got to supply power and maintain the signal heads and control box for the life of the intersection. Roundabouts do consume a lot of real estate compared to a 4-way intersection, though. If I were a neighbor, I'd be putting a large berm or some landscaping at the edge of my property.

Stop It

This and another subject a few days ago are about WHAT the money is earmarked for. We can't take from pot A and throw it in pot G just because.

The $$$ is for one cause and that cause only.

Good 2 B Me

Put Jim Gunner in charge and watch the money get shifted to something else!

MiddleRight

$800,000 to help prevent 2.4 accidents a year.

Seems like a ridiculous waste of money.

How about a flashing light at the intersection? Bet that's cheaper than $800,000.

worddrow811

Huron could sell them their traffic lights.

Maggdi

I thought I'd escaped those ridiculous menaces when I left CA. They are a waste of money, but 'so much more aesthetically pleasing' Listen to your betters peasants.
And a little advise to those who are in charge of engineering this new tribute to modernity, make sure the large vehicle like fire engines can fit. I can tell you from first hand knowledge that there is a small town in the Central Valley that has at least one that the fire engine has to go over top of it....

Good 2 B Me

'so much more aesthetically pleasing' is exactly it!

Right there by that old abandoned house. Ugh. These people are the ones thinking for us. It is starting to sound like we need to think harder about our votes in November!

badboy

Isn't this the same thing Huron wants to do? Why are these suddenly so popular here. There are places in New Jersey that are removing them because they are dangerous. All they are are circles where you have to yield to the car on your left. No stop signs. I've driven in these, people pull out in front of you to try and beat you into the circle.

2cents

Interesting! Wrong place for that, I see high speed wreaks already, you typically see this in a town? Traffic control lights with sensors, real easy....

Matt_Rogers_PE

There are some pretty stringent state requirements that need to be met to justify a traffic signal. We did consider one, but this intersection did not meet them. Certainly a signal has some advantages in the initial cost. We don't always agree with the state's requirements but we are stuck with them nonetheless.

Most of the crashes are angle crashes and involve injuries because of the speeds involved-there are ways to counteract high speeds in roundabout design. While 2.4 crashes per year may not sound like much, we consider the crash severity over a 20 year design life. So this could potentially prevent 48 severe crashes, which works out to about $16,200 per crash. Not much, weighing the cost of 2 totalled cars plus medical bills, etc. (We do a slightly different cost analysis but this is the gist of it).

Much has been learned about roundabout design in the last 20 years or so. Part of the issue is that not all early roundabouts were properly designed or even suitably located. We will benefit from the past experiences of others, both what works, and what doesn't. And yes - it will be designed to accommodate semi-trucks and other large vehicles.

2cents

I still think you need to reconsider. I see most roundabouts in places that have slowed inbound traffic to 35 or 25 MPH at least all I have been through. Out there you have very straight roads and fast traffic unrestricted traffic. I travel through that intersection on occasion and have said to myself, WOW, this intersection needs a light. I would place a double set of traffic lights on all four approaches with flashing warning signs on the Bogart Road side. We have the same situation in front of Kalahari stopping people on a very straight road. Just my 2cents today! Good luck.

No Wake

From the studies I've read and the areas I've driven with roundabouts, they actually help to slow traffic down while at the same time reducing the wasted time incurred from sitting at a red while nobody is coming. This happens at Kalahari a lot. Roundabouts are a permanent visual obstruction that you'll see from miles away and can prepare for by slowing down, unlike approaching a green light that switches from yellow to red in 5-6 seconds.

Maggdi

Are you saying that that you couldn't get the funding to put in a signal or are you telling us the state forbade you to put one in?
If it was a matter of refused funding then the question would be the cost of a signal and whether the county had those funds.

ohioengineer

Mr. Rodgers, I beg to differ. Your cost analysis should be done between the various alternatives: traffic lights, four-way stop, roundabout and doing nothing. Doing a comparison of only a roundabout versus doing nothing doesn't prove much. As a taxpayer (no matter what bucket this money comes out of it ultimately comes out of my pocket), I urge you to reconsider. This is not a good use of the public funds with which you have been entrusted.

sanduskysouth

Why is Sigsworth commenting when we have a Perkins Chief of Police, he is such a gloryhound.

Señor Clown

I wonder what would happen if the right-turn lane on southbound Campbell was eliminated, so there weren't two lanes of turning vehicles competing for a clear view of oncoming traffic from either direction on Bogart. It's always a game of seeing which lane will pull out the closest to Bogart to see around the other, while not being hit by westbound Bogart traffic or eastbound Bogart traffic turning onto Campbell and going left of center.

The local drivers have enough trouble operating within marked lanes, getting more than a handful of vehicles through a left-turn light per signal cycle, and stopping before the marked stripe at intersections. A roundabout will surely increase the incidence of accidents at this intersection, though they'll likely be minor in severity.

No Wake

Right on, your view being blocked from the other lane does create a huge safety hazard. The car I drive is pretty a low-slung and I'll usually have to wait for the person next to me to clear out before I feel comfortable making my move. It's really irritating!

You're right about the accidents being less severe, as there's virtually no way to get T-boned or have a head-on collision at a roundabout due to all cars traveling at relatively the same direction and orientation. Also, since all traffic will need to negotiate the roundabout at nearly the same speed, the force of any collisions would be significantly reduced.

sorryhog

No wonder there are so many accidents there. The light turns in a heartbeat!

Ralph J.

How about 4-way stop signs? Much cheaper.

JMBellevue

What happened to the original plan from over 13 years ago? They took half of the front yard of 1808 Bogart Road in 2001 instead of the farm land across the street. They couldn't go to the north side of the road because it would create a curve in the road. They ran two power sources on the 1808 property for future stop light hook up which has never been used. Go downtown for your round about. Should have had a light at this location way before one was installed at strub and campbell.