Salem resident urges Central board to go nowhere on roundabout

Chris Skrzynecki of Salem had a message for the Central School Board when it comes to the construction of a roundabout intersection at the school’s new entrance/exit to Highway 83.

Don’t do it. And he is willing to help you fight back.

This is a preliminary plan for how a roundabout could look at the entrance/exit to Central High School. (Click for a larger view)

This is a preliminary plan for how a roundabout could look at the entrance/exit to Central High School. (Click for a larger view)

The school district, since last month, has appeared to be resigned to building a roundabout intersection, which the state Department of Transportation favors. If the school choses to build a different type of intersection at the entrance/exit, the school will then be required by the state to improve the Highway 50-Highways 83/75 intersection. The roundabout is estimated to cost about $500,000 to construct. The Highways 50-83/75 intersection would likely be even more expensive. The school budgeted about $175,000 for the intersection, thinking it would be a conventional T shape with a stop sign or traffic light.

Skrzynecki addressed the board during citizens comments of the board’s regular meeting. He outlined the reasons he feels the board ought to continue to fight the DOT on the roundabout issue.

In an email message to, Skrzynecki summed up his motivation like this:

The State DOT is trying to ram this down our collective throats because they want to be able to say elsewhere across the state that policy rules. There is nobody up there thinking and listening and understanding that each application is an individual. If they look at our facts they would understand that. So I’m going to challenge the DOT to justify their  findings and also challenge their authority to over rule a community.”

Skrzynecki’s case against the roundabout can be summed up as:

  • It’s too expensive
  • It will be difficult to navigate, especially for young drivers.
  • The roundabout will disrupt traffic all the time for traffic that will be heavy for a very limited amount of time.
  • The DOT’s insistence on the school paying for improvements at Highway 50 is misguided since the school’s Highway 83 entrance/exit will reduce the load on the Highway 50/83 intersection.

Skrzynecki urged the board not to take further steps toward building the roundabout and instead try to find other strategies that might get the DOT to approve a different configuration, like splitting exiting traffic between the Highway 50 and the Highway 83 exits.

The state is currently reviewing a preliminary design the school submitted for a roundabout design. But district administrator Scott Pierce emphasized that the district has not made payments for any work related to a roundabout.

Skrzynecki has already contacted the offices of the county executive and state legislators. He said he will seek the information that the DOT is using to justify the roundabout, even using formal Freedom of Information Act requests if necessary.

The conclusion of a letter Skrzynecki sent to the board says the following:

“I’m sure you all have thought of other things to say to the state. Let’s not give up just yet. This intersection is supposed to help our students be safer, not throw each incoming class into a bumper car ring.”

That whole letter is here.



  1. Northwestern Mike says:

    Your bias is showing
    I just read a letter that you published on your website that was written by a resident to the Central board. I submitted a handout for publishing that I gave to the Paris school board and you still have not published it. You created a special story just to get out Connie Bevry’s comment, but you won’t extend it to other residents. You have failed to post the Special levy meeting on October 26 after I asked you to post it.
    Your objectivity is gone.
    Your bias is showing, shame on

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