Get ready: a round-about contagion is coming to Stoughton over the next two years with the construction of the Hoel/Silverado, Hwy. 138, and Roby Road intersections.

Yes, you will be getting dizzy going through them, but our WI Dept. of Transportation (DOT) has determined that they are the best way to keep traffic moving safely …. but what about crossing safety for people on foot or bikes?

Round-abouts may be great for moving traffic, but they are serious safety threats for walkers and bikers.

Want to cross four lanes of traffic? You better be extra alert and quick afoot. Unless brought up to the highest safety standards, roundabouts present serious barriers for seniors, disabled people, and young families with children.

Within a few short years, nearly 1,000 people will live on the west side of US 51 near KPW with another 2,000 or more already living on the east side of US 51. Retail stores and restaurants are located on both sides of 51. The KPW area is a highly urban area with higher pedestrian and bike crossing needs.

The solution? Taxpayers must pay for crossing safety because the DOT won’t. The city is initially putting $120,000 in its next budget for pedestrian/bike crossing safety at round-abouts for colored cement, lighting beacons, and signs … and more should be spent for self-activated, solar crossing lights.

The DOT is only providing “safety islands.” The full cost for maximum safety could easily reach $200,000 . . . and the city will have to take care of round-about maintenance.

Roundabouts in urban areas are inherently more dangerous than round-abouts in rural areas when it comes to pedestrian/bike safety. Yet, the DOT continues to take the naïve position that round-abouts are “safe” for people because they see few incidents at them.

I think we all know why: they are not used! It’s time for the DOT to get honest and fund urban round-abouts for cars and people. They cannot be allowed to hide behind naïve policies and facts any longer.

Let them know what you think!

Roger Springman

Stoughton

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