Alternatives to roundabout


Posted: Friday, March 16, 2001

On March 12, the Assembly and Planning Commission met in joint session to hear and comment on the DOT&PF's proposals for improvements to the intersection of Egan Drive and Tenth Street. Just prior to the DOT&PF presentation, the Juneau Economic Development Council made a brief presentation concerning a proposed study of tourism direction for the CBJ. Part of that presentation was a statement by Professor Barry Shane that appears to apply to the DOT&PF's attitude. Professor Shane said: "Once you believe how something works it's almost impossible to change the mind."

DOT&PF designers apparently have become obsessed with the idea of placing a roundabout at the Douglas-North Douglas intersection. Without a solution of the Egan-Tenth problem, a roundabout at the Douglas-North Douglas intersection will not work. One of the prime axioms for a workable roundabout is that there can be no back up of traffic into the roundabout from an adjacent intersection. Yet, after the Assembly-Planning Commission meeting, where an alternate solution to the Douglas-North Douglas intersection was suggested, the DOT&PF representative told the media that they could construct the roundabout and essentially leave the Egan-Tenth intersection as is!

To paraphrase Professor Shane: "Once DOT&PF believed that a roundabout at the Douglas-North Douglas intersection works, it's almost impossible to change the mind and examine other alternatives."

Roger Allington, PE, PTOE


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