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Author Topic: Oh, Montana, Montana, Montana. Why do you need more roundabouts?  (Read 1177 times)

Billy F 1988

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What's up, AARoads roadgeeks! It's Billy again! It's been a while. Been doing some moving around and other personal things. Anyways, on with the subject at hand.

So, if anyone on this site lives in Missoula, Montana or has visited the city from elsewhere, you will notice that Orange Street is getting a new roundabout. Yeah. No surprise there. The location of it is at Interstate 90 and Orange Street, exit 104, the original brianchild of US 93 Business and pre-Reserve Street US 93 days.

As you can pretty much tell, I am as pure blooded Montanan as you will ever find and I am not a fan of roundabouts. There is also one at South Avenue and 38th Street in the new Fort Missoula park area just west of the main center of town. Again, not a fan of that roundabout either.

I'm just not a fan of roundabouts at all. Period. But that's what we're getting on Orange Street. I guess in Missoula engineering's mindset, they think roundabouts are better than lights. Don't know about that. We'll see how this goes.
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jakeroot

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Re: Oh, Montana, Montana, Montana. Why do you need more roundabouts?
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2017, 09:30:38 PM »

So what is it that you don't like about roundabouts? I'll admit, they're not a perfect fit for every location. But they work great in rural areas. And Suburban areas. Not so much urban areas. Though the mini roundabout, as seen in the UK and some cities in the US, seems to be a good fit for low-volume urban streets.

As for the Orange Street Roundabout at hand here, I think the Orange Street Corridor would normally be too dense for roundabouts to work. But, because this roundabout would be at the very edge of the urban area, and the legs would involve a freeway off-ramp (good fit for a roundabout because of the random arrival time of cars), I think this one will be a success. Might be better for pedestrians too. That crosswalk at 3rd/5th looks kind of dangerous.
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corco

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Re: Oh, Montana, Montana, Montana. Why do you need more roundabouts?
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2017, 09:50:32 PM »

I think a roundabout will work great on Orange Street - I've used that interchange many times in my life, and it seems very well suited for that configuration.

MDT is starting to get fairly roundabout happy - there are a whole bunch on the west side of Billings too on Secondary 532.

Kniwt

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Re: Oh, Montana, Montana, Montana. Why do you need more roundabouts?
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2017, 09:19:50 PM »

From the Missoulian, here's a pic of the Orange Street roundabout:

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Billy F 1988

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Re: Oh, Montana, Montana, Montana. Why do you need more roundabouts?
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2017, 06:50:05 PM »

Damn, that's quick! Wasn't even a few days ago and it's near completion already.

I won't be surprised if Van Buren Street and I-90 (exit 105) is next on the MDT's hot list of traffic circling.
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dvferyance

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Re: Oh, Montana, Montana, Montana. Why do you need more roundabouts?
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2017, 02:49:14 PM »

I don't mind roundabouts some of the time. But what drives me nuts in Wisconsin are these series of them. Like 4 or 5 in a row all within a 1/2 mile of one another. I also dislike them on roads with 55 MPH speed limits. Always have to keep slowing down on a road that is meant for speed. I do think they went a bid overboard with them on Shilo Dr. on the west side of Billings.
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jakeroot

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Re: Oh, Montana, Montana, Montana. Why do you need more roundabouts?
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2017, 02:56:38 PM »

I don't mind roundabouts some of the time. But what drives me nuts in Wisconsin are these series of them. Like 4 or 5 in a row all within a 1/2 mile of one another. I also dislike them on roads with 55 MPH speed limits. Always have to keep slowing down on a road that is meant for speed. I do think they went a bit overboard with them on Shilo Dr. on the west side of Billings.

Single-lane roundabouts along high-speed arterial roads have proven very effective at cutting down collisions. They're typically built in a series due to an expected growth of traffic. They may not be necessary right now, but they may be in the future. It's cheaper and faster to build them all at once rather than one at a time.

I like well-designed signals as much as the next guy, particularly when the left turns are permissive. But someone blowing through a red light at 55 or higher, hitting a crossing vehicle, would almost certainly result in a fatal collision. The potential for a serious collision is much higher at signals with high-speed approaches.
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The Ghostbuster

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Re: Oh, Montana, Montana, Montana. Why do you need more roundabouts?
« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2017, 03:56:51 PM »

Here in Madison, there are roundabouts, but it appears the DOT has not been obnoxious about where they place them (4-5 within a 1/2 mile segment does seem a little excessive, but does it greatly slow down traffic flow?).
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Billy F 1988

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Re: Oh, Montana, Montana, Montana. Why do you need more roundabouts?
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2017, 07:47:32 PM »

As much as the flashing yellow arrow annoys me, I guess I can cut MDT just teensy bit a slack. I do ere with corco that the Orange Street circle is suitable, especially considering 3rd and 5th streets not looking the best at present, but I think it will help the foot traffic a bit, the trick is though, that vehicles yield left in circles as apposed to stop signs. I don't understand why people stop in the circle. Yield does not mean stop. Now if there were stop signs in the circles at Higgins and Beckwith, South Avenue circle by the new Fort Missoula complex, and Orange, that I can understand why.

I'm not so sure how you can reduce the chance of accidents at Orange and I-90 because in winter, it can get brutal, and traffic circles are not a semi trucker's best friend.
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jakeroot

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Re: Oh, Montana, Montana, Montana. Why do you need more roundabouts?
« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2017, 03:09:37 PM »

I'm not so sure how you can reduce the chance of accidents at Orange and I-90 because in winter, it can get brutal, and traffic circles are not a semi trucker's best friend.

The roundabout, as all roundabouts are, is designed to handle truck/trailers and their wide turning radii. I don't think snow should make it more dangerous. Montanans are used to it, right? Roundabouts and winter weather actually sound like a good combo to me. Both require low speeds. Better than sliding through a red light.
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compdude787

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Re: Oh, Montana, Montana, Montana. Why do you need more roundabouts?
« Reply #10 on: July 19, 2017, 10:50:45 PM »

Yeah, I don't really get the hate towards roundabouts. They sure are a better way to improve an intersection than adding a light, and they allow the dreaded four way stop to be converted to a higher-capacity intersection.

dvferyance

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Re: Oh, Montana, Montana, Montana. Why do you need more roundabouts?
« Reply #11 on: August 02, 2017, 06:13:40 PM »

Yeah, I don't really get the hate towards roundabouts. They sure are a better way to improve an intersection than adding a light, and they allow the dreaded four way stop to be converted to a higher-capacity intersection.
But they are not suitable for everywhere. Sometimes they work sometimes they don't.
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jakeroot

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Re: Oh, Montana, Montana, Montana. Why do you need more roundabouts?
« Reply #12 on: August 02, 2017, 06:24:49 PM »

Yeah, I don't really get the hate towards roundabouts. They sure are a better way to improve an intersection than adding a light, and they allow the dreaded four way stop to be converted to a higher-capacity intersection.

But they are not suitable for everywhere. Sometimes they work sometimes they don't.

The multi-lane roundabouts tend to be the problematic ones (if the crash-prone roundabouts thread is to be believed). The single-lane ones tend to work quite well.

As for where they're placed, I suppose you have a much better idea of where they belong than the state does, right? :-D
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Billy F 1988

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Re: Oh, Montana, Montana, Montana. Why do you need more roundabouts?
« Reply #13 on: August 02, 2017, 08:47:36 PM »

Yeah, I don't really get the hate towards roundabouts. They sure are a better way to improve an intersection than adding a light, and they allow the dreaded four way stop to be converted to a higher-capacity intersection.

Not sure why you think I'm "hating" on the roundabouts, which I'm not. I just happen to be somewhat a 90's Montana purist. I mean, I guess some roundabouts make sense around Missoula, but there are some that leave me asking why.
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Quillz

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Re: Oh, Montana, Montana, Montana. Why do you need more roundabouts?
« Reply #14 on: September 05, 2017, 01:33:39 AM »

Yeah, I don't really get the hate towards roundabouts. They sure are a better way to improve an intersection than adding a light, and they allow the dreaded four way stop to be converted to a higher-capacity intersection.

Not sure why you think I'm "hating" on the roundabouts, which I'm not. I just happen to be somewhat a 90's Montana purist. I mean, I guess some roundabouts make sense around Missoula, but there are some that leave me asking why.
Because you seem to be rather close-minded about roundabouts:

Quote
As you can pretty much tell, I am as pure blooded Montanan as you will ever find and I am not a fan of roundabouts. There is also one at South Avenue and 38th Street in the new Fort Missoula park area just west of the main center of town. Again, not a fan of that roundabout either.

I'm just not a fan of roundabouts at all. Period. But that's what we're getting on Orange Street. I guess in Missoula engineering's mindset, they think roundabouts are better than lights. Don't know about that. We'll see how this goes.

Roundabouts are generally safe alternatives to four-way stops or signal lights. This is almost surely the reason they were built, as they promote what can be considered traffic calming. I might ask what evidence you have that lights are better than roundabouts. Do they lead to fewer accidents than roundabouts? Because studies tend to suggest the opposite, and I'm sure Missoula took this into account.
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