Central HS info meeting on roundabout postponed

A public information open house type meeting Central High School officials planned to hold next week to dispense information about roundabout intersections has been postponed, the district has announced.

chs-logoDistrict administrator Scott Pierce said the delay was necessary because of issues the district still needs to resolve between its engineer and traffic consultant regarding a possible roundabout intersection where a new school access road will meet Highway 83 south of Highway 50. The consultants have done some design and engineering work on the roundabout, but the district does not have a contract with them for such work.

“We need to finalize that contract before they’re willing to proceed with any more services to the district,” Pierce said in an email message to West of the I.

School officials also have questions about the cost of the intersection project that need to be resolved, Pierce said.

If the district decides to proceed with a roundabout, a similar meeting might be held in January so the project could be put out to bid in February, Pierce said.

The school initially budgeted about $175,000 for constructing a relatively inexpensive T intersection, presumably with a traffic signal. But state Department of Transportation officials said if the school constructed that sort of intersection, the state would not authorize a signal and the school district would be responsible for renovating the Highway 50 and 83/75 intersection in the future. The school could avoid that obligation by building a roundabout intersection, which the state favors, for an estimated $500,000. The Highway 50 and 83/75 intersection work is expected to be even more expensive.

Of late, a few citizens have become energized about the issue and are working to try to help the district resolve the issue with a  solution less expensive for the district than the roundabout. In part due to that interest as well as concern for safety, board President Mary Ellen Pearsall urged the board Tuesday to seek legal counsel on the district’s alternatives.


One Comment

  1. Chris Gustafson says:

    Hopefully, if WCHS does go through with the roundabout, HAWK crosswalk beacons will be installed. If you go to the following link,
    http://www.dot.wisconsin.gov/safety/motorist/roaddesign/roundabouts/docs/guide-wisdotrab.pdf ….

    WisDOT Roundabout Guide-December 2008, Update, FDM 11-26-10 Multimodal Considerations, page 2 states, “….The “pedestrian hybrid signal” sometimes referred to as the HAWK crosswalk signal may be considered where there is an identified or demonstrated need to accommodate the visually impaired. At the time of this publication the HAWK crosswalk signal is experimental and requires a “request to experiment” from FHWA to install this system. It is anticipated that the proposed 2009 MUTCD will include this device and once it is published the “request to experiment” will no longer be required.”

    The U.S. Census Bureau 2008 statistics for ZIP code 53168 shows the neighborhood of where WCHS’s roundabout is to be located has 174 disabled workers. HAWK crosswalk signals would help mitigate this new barrier to social participation and help folks enjoy a safer healthy lifestyle.

    The improvement in Driver Yielding Behavior from baseline measurements are significant. See: Efficacy of Rectangular Shaped Rapid Flash LED Beacons…
    pg. 39/40 for Discussion, and pg. 39/40 Appendix 1 Pedestrian Crosswalk Installation Criteria, http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/resources/interim_approval/ia11/stpetersburgrpt/stpetersburgrpt.pdf

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