NEW ALBANY, IN (WAVE) – Neighbors are concerned about a proposed roundabout in New Albany. The city's mayor said it would improve road safety, but the residents say it will also cut into their quality of life.
The $3.9 million project is planned for construction in 2014, although city leaders have a public hearing scheduled for Tuesday. The proposal includes a roundabout at Mt. Tabor Road and Klerner Lane, a pedestrian lane on one side, and a sidewalk on the other. Neighbors said the project will negatively impact surrounding homeowners.
"It seems like they're really shoe-horning this into an area where there's not enough space," said Amy Patera, whose mother lives on the corner. "If you start making it easier for people to zip around, in my opinion, it becomes more unsafe."
The intersection right now is a four-way stop, with flashing red lights overhead. Neighbor Dennis Feiock said rush hour traffic often backs up, but it's still a residential road.
"It works as well as any intersection in town, as far as I'm concerned," said Feiock, who's lived nearby since 1947.
If the plans move forward, the roundabout would be the second in New Albany. The first, along Daisy Lane, features a number of skid marks in the center where drivers have had trouble navigating the circle.
"People are unfamiliar, so it takes some time to get used to it," New Albany Mayor Jeff Gahan said. "But over time, (roundabouts) are more attractive, they're efficient at moving traffic, and they're much safer."
Gahan said that because of federal assistance the city only needs to contribute about 20 percent of the project's cost. Gahan said other roundabouts are possible in the future because of their benefits, although nothing is planned.
The public hearing is scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday, September 10 at Mt. Tabor Elementary School, 800 Mt. Tabor Road in New Albany.
For more information about the project proposal, click here.