Controlling speed in Stevens Point
Commission looks at possible mini-roundabouts
By Taylor Hale
Members of the Bicycle/Pedestrian Street Safety Commission discussed the possibility of installing temporary “mini-roundabouts” in some sections of the city to help reduce speeding and increase street safety. The talks occurred during an April 22 meeting.
Mini-roundabouts are similar to their full-sized counterparts but are smaller, and many times include only street markings or an “obstruction” in the street to change traffic patterns. The “road calming” style was first constructed in the U.S. in 2001, in the village of Dimondale, MI.
“If you walk or bike it’s clear that people speed,” said Commission Chair Trevor Roark. “This is just another tool to potentially slow traffic down without having to have policing do the brunt of it.”
Roark noted that temporary, “pop-up” roundabouts could be an option for the city to test whether the mini-roundabouts work. These temporary tools could be made from something as simple as bails of hay placed in the middle of the street with road signage; motorists would have to drive around the hay bails and continue driving, reducing their speed in the process.
Alder Tori Jennings spoke in favor of the possibility of mini-roundabouts.
“I’ve wondered about mini-roundabouts on Sixth, and various places to break up that build-up of speed that’s possible, and they can also be aesthetically pleasing to the area because these small ones can be filled with plants and that can become a community project in itself,” Jennings said.
Some commission members see the roundabouts as a way to “enforce” slower speeds while not overburdening the city’s police department.
No action was taken during the conversation. Roark hopes to further discuss the possibilities of mini-roundabouts at future Bicycle/Pedestrian Street Safety Commission meetings.