Dozens of Northeast and East Cobb residents brought questions and concerns to Monday night’s information session about the roundabout being installed in their neighborhood this summer.
The Cobb County Department of Transportation is planning the county’s fourth roundabout at the intersection of Holly Springs and Davis roads.
The work should start right after Memorial Day and last about two months, Cobb DOT construction manager Bob Galante said.
Galante and Michael Cates were among the DOT experts who joined Northeast Cobb Commissioner JoAnn Birrell in explaining the plans, answering questions and taking suggestions during the two-hour open house at the East Cobb Senior Center.
While many residents expressed skepticism about the construction and about the success of a traffic circle to relieve rush-hour traffic, Galante said: “You’ll love it right after it’s built.”
Cates said most neighbors opposed the county’s first roundabout, at West Sandtown and Villa Rica roads in West Cobb, but now almost everyone likes it.
A maximum of 722 vehicles an hour crawl through the Holly Springs-Davis intersection heading north toward Sandy Plains Road during the evening, according to a video the Cobb DOT showed throughout the open house. That’s about 130 more than the West Sandtown intersection handled when the county moved ahead with that traffic circle.
A December 2002 study in Maryland found that roundabouts reduce total crashes by 60 percent and injury crashes by 82 percent, the Cobb department said.
The one-lane traffic circle simplifies decision-making, the agency said, because a driver has to judge only whether there’s a gap to enter the circle. Drivers don’t have to decide whose turn it is to go, as at a four-way stop, nor does anyone run a light. And no one turns across anyone’s path, avoiding right-angle and head-on crashes.
Still, people worry about accidents heading to the intersection as drivers cut back from a 35-mph legal limit and as much as 60 mph in reality to enter the circle at 15 mph.
People quickly make the adjustment from a four-way stop to the no-stop circle, Cates said.
Birrell said she appreciates the positive and negative feedback and thinks people gained a better understanding of the project Monday night.
The county will continue to spread information and collect suggestions to refine the plans before contractor C.W. Matthews of Marietta starts the work this summer, she said.
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