Indianapolis to get six roundabouts; meetings scheduled

A roundabout in Carmel.
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Hamilton, Hendricks and Johnson counties all have roundabouts and now, Indianapolis is finally joining in. The city plans to build a half-dozen roundabouts over the next two years.

They're supposed to make traffic run smoothly, but can also be confusing. The city plans two roundabouts for Edgewood Avenue, two for German Church Road and one each on Spring Mill Drive and Five Points Road.

The roundabouts will replace four-way stop signs at each of those intersections.

Several drivers at Five Points and Thompson Roads agree traffic is a problem, especially after school and after work.

"Oh, its bad. It backs up about a mile here," said Bobby Levi.

But is a roundabout the best solution?

"I think it's a wonderful thing. It will speed up traffic and keep things moving," said one driver.

"(I) think it would be a better idea, it would mean less accidents," a woman driver said.

But another made it clear.

"I don't like roundabouts. They're confusing."

Others worry about the impact on their property. One homeowner near the Five Points intersection said she's still not sure how much of her front lawn the city plans to take.

Kara Brooks, a spokesperson for the Department of Public Works, said while "land will be required for the intersections," they're still determining the impact to properties.

JC Beasley, who's lived at Edgewood and Gray Roads for 52 years, will lose a bit of land, but said that's okay - he's all for the roundabout.

"If they put in stoplight and left turn lanes then they would take quite a bit of property," Beasley said.

His neighbor, though, is not so lucky.

"He's going lose three trees and some property," Beasley said. "The thing is, they're going to cut so deep, it will be hard to get in and out of his driveway."

Construction won't begin until spring, but the city's already planning driver's education to get Indy drivers up to speed on rules of the roundabout. That's something some drivers say is needed.

As one woman driver said of roundabouts, "There's no stop sign. You never know when to stop or go. Everyone's going at once, so I guess if everyone is careful, you'll be fine."

Previous version

Marion County will get six new roundabouts over the next two years and the public is invited to attend meetings to learn more about the plans.

The Indianapolis Department of Public Works (DPW) will visit neighborhoods throughout the fall beginning Sept. 20 to educate residents about roundabouts.

The city says roundabout intersection improvements offer benefits in addition to easing traffic congestion, such as improved safety, air quality and low maintenance costs.

Roundabouts are planned for:

Edgewood Ave./McFarland Road
Edgewood Ave./Gray Rd.
German Church Rd./42nd St.
German Church Rd./46th St.
Spring Mill Rd./91st St.
Five Points Road/Thompson Rd.

City-sponsored open houses will teach residents how to use roundabouts, identify signage, and share the road with cyclists. DPW staff will be available to answer questions about each planned project. The open houses are scheduled by township or sets of townships; however, residents are welcome to attend whichever open house is most convenient:

Warren and Lawrence townships
4 to 6 p.m. Thursday, September 20: Knights of Columbus, 4332 German Church Road

Pike and Washington townships
4 to 6 p.m. Monday, September 24: Nora Branch Library, 8625 Guilford Ave.

Perry and Franklin townships
4 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, September 26: Franklin Road Branch Library, 5550 S. Franklin Road

Center Township
4 to 6 p.m. Monday, October 1: The Athenaeum, Damenverein Room, 401 E. Michigan St.

Wayne and Decatur townships
4 to 6 p.m. Tuesday, October 2: Decatur Branch Library, 5301 Kentucky Ave.

See details on the project.