The city’s last two attempts at building roundabouts ended with many residents opposing their construction.
On Wednesday, residents near Vandiver Drive and Parker Street asked how they could get a roundabout there sooner.
“Visibility is not the best, and there’s four cross traffics, and only two of them have to stop,” Danny Hammack, general manager of Columbia Honda said. “We feel it’s necessary.”
Hammack and several others attended an interested parties meeting Wednesday night at Blue Ridge Elementary School to talk about the roundabout. Columbia Public Works is asking to build a single-lane roundabout at the intersection sometime in 2019. Staff expects the entire project to cost a little more than $1 million. It would look similar to the one at Scott Boulevard and Vawter School Road, according to the design plans presented.
Public Works manager Allison Anderson said the roundabout will help slow traffic approaching the intersection.
“With the way they’re designed and laid out, it kind of forces the vehicle to slow down when it comes into the roundabout and go around the roundabout,” Anderson said.
Seven people gathered alongside Second Ward city councilman Michael Trapp and two members of Columbia Public Works. Trapp said he supported the plan due to the increased traffic in the area and car crashes that occur at the intersection. Drivers stopped at Parker Street have a difficult time seeing eastbound traffic on Vandiver, some told ABC 17 News. Trapp encouraged those at the meeting to come to the July city council meeting when the roundabout comes up.
Businesses and subdivisions in the area continue to grow. Columbia Honda, located just south of the intersection, is clearing the way for a new show lot on the southwest corner of Parker Street and Vandiver Drive. Veterans United will soon move into the building at 1500 Vandiver Drive, bringing hundreds of employees there. Subdivisions are in the works north of the intersection, joining several apartment complexes. Hannack said he often discourages his employees at Columbia Honda from turning across Vandiver from Parker Street.
“We try and turn only right when we’re coming out of the intersection,” Hammack said. “We certainly feel like it could happen as soon as possible.”
People at the meeting asked about improving the layout of the intersections of Vandiver, Oakland Gravel Road and Paris Road further east. Trapp said the council had set aside $150,000 to study the area and determine the best way to improve it, and agreed that something needed to be done there.