Whether you call them roundabouts or traffic circles-- Kalamazoo locals hate them!

The City of Kalamazoo recently shared some updates regarding their "traffic calming measures" in the Winchell neighborhood and residents are not too please, but that's no surprise.

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In a recent press release the City of Kalamazoo announced the pilot project near Chevy Chase Boulevard would be getting an update saying,

Over about three weeks, the mini traffic circles on Chevy Chase Boulevard at Waite and Lorraine Avenues will be cleaned and be reset, and the curb bump-outs along Winchell Avenue will be updated...the intersections with Aberdeen Drive, Broadway Avenue, and Rambling Road will be replaced with narrower, canoe-shaped bump-outs.

Why the Sudden Changes?

The City says these changes will be implemented based on feedback from area residents as well as, "...an evaluation of each measure’s performance over the previous year. "

But are they really listening to feedback because Winchell area residents were sounding off on Facebook saying:

  • "Awesome. So now as people are dodging the potholes on the poorly repaired roads, they can get 5 pts for connecting with the bike lane rails on the side of the road." - Patty Mikowski
  • "Traffic calming= traffic back ups. This is what the city council wants." - Aaron Conley
  • "Our neighborhood roads are in such bad shape. Is a traffic circle really needed?? Not exactly a high traffic area." Elizabeth Roelofs
Google Maps
Sprinkle Road Roundabout - Google Maps

How Long is the Project?

According to the City, the pilot program is part of a traffic calming project that's,

...intended to not only calm traffic on these neighborhood streets, but to provide insight into the effectiveness of these traffic calming treatments as staff look to plan larger scale or city-wide projects in the future.

The temporary traffic circle was first installed last fall and will continue through 2025.

Roundabouts have certainly been a hot button issue in Kalamazoo in recent years and the semi truck that flipped over on the Sprinkle Road roundabout certainly didn't help matters!

What do you think, are roundabouts effective or just a nuisance? Either way, it doesn't look like they're going away anytime soon.

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