Tuesday night, city leaders held a public hearing on two roundabouts planned in Augusta. One of the most controversial is the one planned for the intersection of Wheeler Road and Aumond Road because the city will have to take over parts of people's yards to do it.
Residents who live near the intersection of Wheeler Road and Aumond Road definitely have their concerns, but for the people who drive through that neighborhood on a daily basis, building a roundabout could be a fix for a major traffic problem.
JoEllen Catto has lived near the intersection of Wheeler Road and Aumond Road for more than 25 years. And during that time, she has seen some problems at that intersection.
"Two cars will come up to the stop sign. The first car will stop and go through and the second car will go through on their heels without coming to a full stop," Catto says.
City officials say there have been about 20 accidents there during the last 3 years. There solution is to turn the intersection into a roundabout. Catto is a fan of roundabouts, but she doesn't like the city's plan to build one there.
"I am concerned at the cost of this project. I'm not sure it's warranted by the amount of traffic that flows through that intersection, except early morning and late evening," Catto says.
City engineers say the project could cost about $1.1 million dollars. But despite the projected cost, Harry Moore thinks the roundabout would be great for Augusta.
"If you go right now to Aumond Road and Wheeler Road, traffic is backed up. 8, 9 cars back. Keep the traffic moving around the circle and it will get them out," Moore says.
But Catto says if drivers are already having problems with stop signs there, they will continue to have problems with the roundabout.
"I think it takes some getting used to if you're not use to roundabouts, but I have seen them used successfully in other parts of Georgia," Catto says.
"I think they will get use to them. They put one in Columbia County. I went over there and looked at it. You can tell the first few days people were nervous about it, but then the traffic started flowing and they got use to them," Moore says.
Even though roundabouts are statistically safer than intersections, Catto says there is a cheaper solution for the problems at Wheeler and Aumond.
"It would be interesting to put a blinking light there like they have on Wheeler and Regent," Catto says.
If all goes according to plan, construction could begin in summer 2014.
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