Carmel adds 'traffic metering system' to busy roundabout

A roundabout near 136th Street and Keystone Avenue in Carmel has a new "traffic metering system" which is similar to a stoplight. (Photo: Dronecam 13)

CARMEL, Ind. (WTHR) – Roundabouts are supposed to eliminate stoplights but one busy intersection in Carmel has both.

Now the intersection at 136th Street and Keystone Avenue is causing some confusion for drivers.

There also seems to be some debate over what to call it.

Drivers refer to it as a traffic light. The city of Carmel however, refers to it as a traffic metering system.

"System similar to larger cities where they limit traffic that can get on the interstate, so what we have done is adapt it for a roundabout interchange because this is one of the main gateways to the high school in the morning," Jeremy Kashman the Director of Engineering for the city of Carmel explained.

The new traffic metering system stops traffic on 136th Street after the school day, allowing backed up traffic on Keystone to move through.

"So the system is working but you have to wonder doesn't this defeat the idea behind a roundabout?" Kashman added.

On Facebook some residents wondered, "Whose genius idea was this stoplight on a roundabout."

Another person wrote, "I deal with this intersection daily. It is a joke."

"Someone said that to me a week ago that if you put a signal in the roundabout failed. Defeating the purpose, " said Kashman. "That is not the case. What we have tried to do in Carmel is right size the infrastructure. We didn't see the need to spend an $2.5 million on this bridge that we would have to maintain for the next 50 years and we installed metering to handle peak time traffic."

The new traffic metering system that has been added to a busy roundabout in Carmel. (WTHR Photo)

The numbers don't lie. The number of 2018 personal injury accidents dropped to frewer than 200 which dates back years to when Carmel was a third of the size it is today.

There is some speculation that when the overpass just north of 136th and Keystone is complete, that will also help the traffic flow during the morning rush.

"We will actually stop traffic on the ramp to allow west bound traffic to continue through the roundabout," said Kashman. "In the evening as the rush hour traffic backs up onto Keystone it will stop eastbound traffic to allow ramp traffic to clear out."

Carmel has been on the cutting edge when it comes to roundabouts. Will traffic metering be the next big thing for the city?

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