Roundabout at Stoneybrook West Parkway/Windermere Road and Roberson Road in Winter Garden Is Completed
Dear Friends & Neighbors,
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If you have been to the intersection of Stoneybrook West Parkway/ Windermere Road, and Roberson Road recently, you would have noticed that the traffic flow has gotten a lot smoother now that there is a roundabout (along with the installation of drainage improvements, utility relocations, and signing and pavement marking improvements)in its place. With the Winter Garden Village close by, access to State Route 429, and increased population in Central Florida, traffic congestion has been an issue at this intersection for quite a while. In April, the completion of the construction of this roundabout has not only saved local residents time, but will also boost safety for those who enter this roundabout.
According to Orange County Government of Florida, in italics, below:
On May 24. 2016, the Orange County Board of County Commissioners approved an Interlocal Agreement with the City of Winter Garden regarding the intersection of Stoneybrook Parkway/Roberson Road and Windermere Road. This agreement provided for the City of Winter Garden to take over responsibility for the design, construction, operation and maintenance of a round-a-bout at this intersection. The project started in July, 2018, and is scheduled to complete in April of 2019.
Intersection traffic and accident data were collected and analyzed. Two types of intersection improvement concepts were considered based on a detailed traffic analysis.
Two types of improvement considered include a traditional intersection treatment which adds right and left turn lanes (INTERIM), below:
as well as ULTIMATE Intersection Improvement, below:
configuration adding turn lanes in all four quadrants and the other type of improvement is an Urban Roundabout Improvement 105′ in diameter, below:
Although Roundabout intersection design is not often seen in USA, downtown Windermere has been taking advantage of this design for many years. Since many of our Floridian new locals are from other states and may not be familiar with this traffic design, let’s take a look at the history and mechanism behind this circular intersection design in which road traffic flows almost continuously in one direction and around a central island.
The operating and entry characteristics of these circles differ considerably from modern roundabouts. In 1907 architect John McLaren designed one of the first American roundabouts for both autos and street cars (trams) in the Hanchett Residence Park in what is now San Jose, California . Widespread use of the modern roundabout began when the UK’s Transport Research Laboratory engineers re-engineered circular intersections during the 1960s. Frank Blackmore led the development of the offside priority rule and subsequently invented the mini-roundabout to overcome capacity and safety limitations. The design became mandatory in the United Kingdom for all new roundabouts in November 1966. This give-way requirement has been the law in New York state since the 1920s.
In the United States modern roundabouts emerged in the 1990s. Municipalities introducing new roundabouts often are met with some degree of public resistance, just as in the United Kingdom in the 1960s. Surveys show that negative public opinion reverses as drivers gain experience with roundabouts. A 1998 survey of municipalities found public opinion 68% opposed prior to construction; changing thereafter to 73% in favor. As of the beginning of the twenty-first century, roundabouts were in widespread use in Europe. For instance, in 2010 France had more than 30,000 roundabouts.
A “modern roundabout” is a type of looping junction in which road traffic travels in one direction around a central island and priority is given to the circulating flow. Signs usually direct traffic entering the circle to slow and to give way to traffic already on it. Because low speeds are required for traffic entering roundabouts, they are physically designed to slow traffic entering the junction to improve safety, so that the roads typically approach the junction radially; whereas rotaries are frequently designed to try to increase speeds, and thus have roads that enter the traffic circle tangentially. Because of the requirement for low speeds, roundabouts usually are not used on controlled-access highways, but may be used on lower grades of highway such as limited-access roads. When such roads are redesigned to take advantage of roundabouts, traffic speeds must be reduced via tricks such as curving the approaches.
The fundamental principle of modern roundabouts is that entering drivers give way to traffic within the roundabout without the use of traffic signals. Traffic circles typically require circling drivers to give way to entering traffic. Generally, exiting directly from the inner lane of a multi-lane roundabout is permitted, given that the intersecting road has as many lanes as the roundabout. By contrast, exiting from the inner lane of a traffic circle is usually not permitted without first merging to the circle’s outside lane. Vehicles circulate around the central island in one direction at speeds of 15–25 miles per hour (24–40 km/h). Direction is determined by whether traffic drives on the right- or left-hand side of the road. In left-hand traffic countries the circulation is clockwise; in others, it is counterclockwise. Multi-lane roundabouts are typically less than 250 feet (76 m) in diameter; traffic circles and roundabout interchanges may be considerably larger. Roundabouts are roughly the same size as signaled intersections with the same capacity.
To better understand the operation of roundabout design, several videos are gathered for your viewing, below:
Gathered, written, and posted by Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker
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