Proponents of a roundabout at the Franklin intersection of S. 51st Street and Drexel Avenue, just a hop, skip, and a jump away from Franklin High School might claim/believe it will make the intersection safer.
They’d be wrong.
I asked Franklin Police Chief Rick Oliva to supply me with data about serious accidents that have occurred at the intersection dating back the past ten years. The chief responded quickly via e-mail.
“We can’t search specifically for the intersection. We have to search the hundred blocks east-west and north-south of the intersection.”
Chief Oliva continued.
“In the last 10 years there was one personal injury accident in the 5000 block of W. Drexel. There were 6 property damage only accidents in the hundred blocks E-W and N-S. Since you’re looking for serious accidents, it would only be the one.”
Thank you, Chief Oliva.
Seems if you’re approaching this matter from a public safety perspective it’d be best to just leave well enough alone.
Last August the Wisconsin State Journal reported the following that like Oliva’s information blows holes in the contentions of the pro-roundabout crowd:
A study of 30 roundabouts in the state completed by (Andrea) Bill, (a traffic safety engineer at the Wisconsin Traffic Operations and Safety Laboratory at UW-Madison) in 2013 that looked at crashes three years before and four years after they opened showed that 23 had more crashes after they opened.
Overall, there were 572 crashes four years after the 30 roundabouts opened versus 311 during the three years before the intersections were converted. Of those, 464 crashes resulting in property damage occurred after the roundabouts opened versus 194 before they opened. Both periods saw similar numbers of accidents with injuries.
Bill was also quoted that she thinks, she thinks there will be fewer crashes. And that could be. But it hasn’t happened. Au contraire, just the opposite has taken place with roundabouts.
The roundabout at 51st and Drexel is unnecessary ($89,000 just for the design services) and may very well cause MORE crashes given the data we have at our disposal.
This argument for roundabouts is lame
My blog earlier this week caused a virtual explosion on social media. Lots of folks who are giddy about the roundabout are sticking it to the opposition.
Learn to live with it. Adapt. Get used to it. Learn how to drive in it.
Excuse me is right.
Learn to live with it?
Get used to it?
Learn how to drive in it?
Seems the anti-roundabout folks can say the same to the bunch that despises the four-way stop that’s been around for, well, forever.
Learn to live with it.
Get used to it.
Learn how to drive in it.
Finally, let’s not forget the larger issue at hand
The city of Franklin did very little to inform the general public about this item beyond the required meeting notices.
Whenever BallPark Commons needed to kiss rings for even the slightest approval everybody in town seemed to know about it.
Not so with the roundabout.
Franklin Mayor Steve Olson and Common Council members Steve Taylor and Kristen Wilhelm all voted for the roundabout. They are all actively involved in social media. Yet none of them to my knowledge (and I could be wrong because I don’t monitor everything they post) published anything prior to the meetings, or since.
You, Private Citizen, are supposed to check the city website, check the meeting agendas, come to meetings, ask questions and make public comments (good luck getting an answer or response other than “thank you”). The powers that be know that 99.99% of residents don’t do it, and submit it’s their fault.
So the roundabout matter was settled quickly, a lot of money was spent unnecessarily, and there are some hoping this will die down and go away, banking on Franklin’s citywide political apathy.
Opposed to the roundabout? Not happy with how it all came down?
You’ve now been served a big heaping helping of how things are done in Franklin.