Safety at eastern Iowa roundabouts - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Safety at eastern Iowa roundabouts

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LINN COUNTY (KWWL) - At 7th Avenue and 7th Street in Marion there's currently a stoplight. The intersection is set to become a roundabout, one of three in the city's Central Corridor Plan.

It's a project lifelong Marion resident Nancy Gruwell disagrees with.

"They say that there's a good reason for it but I think it's going to be too confusing for a lot of people," said Gruwell.

Engineers say the Central Corridor sees more than half of the city's crashes which is what they're trying to curb.

"They are much safer," said Dan Whitlow, City Engineer for the City of Marion. "Lower congestion, higher speed, more efficient for traffic in those areas."

They're working in other places. Officials in Mount Vernon were concerned about the congestion on Highway 30, especially during the evening rush hour. That's why they put in two roundabouts and they've been in place now for a few months.

"In regards to peak hour congestion they were very successful," said Dan Boggs, City Engineer for the City of Mount Vernon.

Officials in Mount Vernon considered putting in a stoplight but decided the roundabouts were a safer option.

"You're only making right hand turn movements," said Boggs. "The number of conflict points are reduced greatly in a roundabout."

But in Marion, people are concerned with the idea of adding roundabouts in their city.

"I think it's better to have just straight through instead of going around and second guessing people," said Gruwell.

The Marion City Council has already approved the Central Corridor Plan, though people can still share their opinions with the council or with the city engineer.
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