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Colorado State Patrol shares tips during National Roundabouts Week

ALSO: Fountain Mesa roundabout contract awarded


Last updated 9/29/2021 at 10:05am | View PDF

Courtesy of Colorado State Patrol

The anxiety of navigating roundabouts is common among new drivers or people who aren't used to having a circular intersection design in their common commutes. But with a little practice, they can become second nature, some officials say. According to the Federal Highway Association, roundabouts are a proven safety measure because they can substantially reduce crashes in intersections.

In fact, a new roundabout on Fountain Mesa Road is about to be constructed (see below).

In recognition of National Roundabouts Week (Sept. 20-24), the Colorado State Patrol (CSP) shared some tips to reduce the nerves for all motorists:

• Watch for a change of speed limit when approaching a roundabout; speeds will drop because going slower provides the driver with more time to make decisions and yield to other road users.

• Pay attention and select the lane for where you want to go after the roundabout. Signs and road markings will help.

• Be ready to yield. Drivers must yield to traffic already in the roundabout. You want to give large vehicles (buses, trucks, and emergency vehicles) space and when you enter the roundabout be sure to stay in your marked lane.

"Traffic flows counterclockwise through roundabouts and speeds are intended to be slow," CSP Trooper Josh Lewis said. "Circular intersections are designed with safety in mind for motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians. Crosswalks will be present and drivers need to stop to let people finish crossing safely."

Because roundabouts require vehicles to yield and then navigate around a raised circular island, the possibility of an angle crash is significantly reduced. So, CSP suggests drivers take a deep breath, a slow approach and be ready to yield.

New roundabout on schedule

Meanwhile, El Paso County is moving forward with plans to construct a roundabout at Fountain Mesa Road and Fortman/Caballero avenues. The county recently solicited bids for the project; that application period closed Sept. 21.

On Sept. 28, the Board of County Commissioners approved a contract with Kiewit Infrastructure Company for the project in the amount of $2.2 million.

Recently, the county approved a permanent sight distance easement and temporary construction easement agreement with property owners Robert and Charlene Campbell for $4,850.

Officials expect construction to begin later this fall.

In other county transportation news, commissioners voted to approve $700,000 in state revenue to go toward the South Powers Extension Study. Specifically, the Planning and Environmental Linkages Study is the next step in the eventual development of Powers Boulevard southward from Mesa Ridge Parkway to a future connection with I-25 south of Fountain. The city and county are collaborating with various regional partner agencies on these plans.

Commissioners also approved an agreement with the Colorado Department of Transportation for the design of the Bradley Road widening project, which eventually will upgrade 1 mile of Bradley between South Academy Boulevard and Hancock Expressway/Main Street from two to four lanes. It also will include ADA, drainage and other improvements.

"The initial funding is for the design phase with the intent of creating a shovel-ready project to apply for future funding opportunities for construction," county staff said.


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