XENIA — Xenia’s first roundabout at the intersection of US 42 and East Church Street is open and so far no major issues have been reported by the city.
More than 13,000 vehicles travel through the intersection each day and prior to the roundabout project, it was one of the more difficult areas to navigate for drivers, according to city officials.
The project, which began in March, eliminated all traffic lights and left turns and nullified the awkward 42-degree angle at which Route 42 touches East Church. The change will also help better accommodate traffic volume, which is expected to be nearly 6,000 per day on the north leg of North Columbus Street, City Engineer Chris Berger previously said.
The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) was responsible for the construction of the project, which cost around $1.1 million with around $230,000 coming from the city. City Manager Brent Merriman previously said that a portion of the local match came from limited-use funds that couldn’t be used on just any street.
On its website, the city posted some tips for navigating the roundabout. Drivers approaching should slow down, stay in their lane and yield to vehicles already in the roundabout. Once in the roundabout, merge to the right and continue until reaching your exit. Signal, then exit to the right. Drivers should avoid stopping while in the roundabout, according to the website.
According to ODOT, roundabouts reduce crashes by 40 to 60 percent and reduce injury by 35 to 80 percent. They are said to be the most effective way to control intersections by reducing vehicle speeds and severity of crashes that do occur. In addition to improving safety of drivers, roundabouts also improve the safety of pedestrians and bicyclists, ODOT said.
The original plan called for US 42 to be re-routed to meet the intersection at a 90-degree angle, but that would have required the city to buy five or six houses, Berger said. The city’s consultant suggested the change to a roundabout, which required the acquisition of numerous rights-of-way but no home purchases.
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.