Roseville City Council approves downtown roundabout

4-1 decision comes after several public comments voicing support
By: Sena Christian, Staff Reporter
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Action Taken

Here’s a look at some other items approved during the March 20 council meeting:

Connect Card MOU: The city will enter into a memorandum of understanding indicating commitment to participate in the Sacramento Area Council of Governments’ project to develop and implement a regional universal transit fare card system named the Connect Card. SACOG has presented a cost estimate of $390,000 for Roseville Transit’s portion of the project and staff added another 5 percent for a total of $408,000, which will make use of Prop 1B program funds.

Customer Information System: The city’s current Customer Information System is almost 10 years old, and will be upgraded using AAC Utility Partners consulting services for a not-to-exceed cost of $256,000.

Flood emergency response grant: Roseville will seek grant funding of $250,000 from the Department of Water Resources to enhance its Flood Warning and Response Plan to include flood forecast and inundation mapping at various sized storm events for the city’s flood-prone areas along Linda, Cirby and Dry creeks.

Vehicles purchase: The city’s Solid Waste Division is replacing two refuse collection vehicles for a total cost of $386,780.

Labor relations consulting services: Due to the negotiating process for the Roseville Police Officers Association, Roseville Firefighters Association, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and the International Union of Operating Engineers, Stationary Engineers Local 39, extending beyond the expected timeframe, the city will increase two contracts for labor relations consulting services for a total of $50,000.

Kennel lease operating agreement: In 2005, the city entered into a lease and operating agreement for use of the city-owned property at 5480 Phillip Road as a dog kennel. An amendment to that original lease is set to expire April 1, and the new amendment will extend the lease for two years. Rent will remain at $2,500 a month, for a total of $60,000 over two years.

~ Sena Christian

After several comments from the public all in favor of a roundabout in downtown Roseville, the City Council approved the project in a 4-1 vote at the March 20 meeting.

Councilwoman Pauline Roccucci cast the dissenting vote.

The roundabout will be built at the intersection of Oak Street and Washington Boulevard, and is expected to be complete by fall 2014. Roseville already has 13 roundabouts, but this project is the first retrofit of a large, signalized intersection.

As part of the City Council’s adoption of the Downtown Specific Plan in 2009, downtown was designated as a pedestrian district with an emphasis on implementing traffic-calming measures that are more pedestrian-friendly.

A roundabout will improve traffic flow at the intersection, Public Works Director Rhon Herndon said at the meeting. Roundabouts result in lower accident rates, and more safety for pedestrians because of islands in the middle of the street and walkers only needing to look in one direction while crossing, he said.

A total of 27 accidents occurred at the Oak/Washington intersection over the past three years, Herndon said, adding that studies show that roundabouts result in a 37 percent drop in overall collisions, 75 percent reduction in injury collisions, 90 percent drop in fatality collisions and 40 percent decrease in pedestrian collisions.

“The primary reason for fewer vehicle and pedestrian accidents at roundabouts is due to slower traffic speeds,” Herndon said. “Traffic can cruise through a green light at speeds of 35-40 mph at a signal. But at a roundabout, traffic moves between 15-20 mph. Drivers simply have more time to react to other drivers and pedestrians at those slower speeds.”

Roundabouts also improve air quality because cars aren’t idling at red lights, he said, and add a character feature to the downtown.

Local developer Steve Pease, who operates Sammy’s Rockin’ Island Bar & Grill on Vernon Street, said he has recently become a fan of roundabouts, and he thinks the local project will improve downtown.

“I think they function very well,” Pease said.

Susan Duane, who serves on the board of the Roseville City School District, spoke in favor of the roundabout. Duane has three young children.

“I’m looking forward to the town square project being complete,” Duane said. “And part of that is bringing our kids downtown and being able to walk around with safety … I think the roundabout is something that would slow the traffic down and ease parents’ concern and urge people to come down to the town square.”

Resident Ted Deehr said he was previously opposed to the roundabout, but after learning more, he is now supportive.

The Oak Street Improvement Project is estimated to cost $2.8 million. This cost covers the $1.6 million roundabout, which is paid for by a federal grant, $515,000 for traffic signals and Oak Street improvements for $700,000.

The council also approved an additional $1.2 million for the Oak Street project, current infrastructure work and town square project. The town square is expected to be complete this summer.

Downtown revitalization plans also include bridge and bike trail improvements to be done in 2014 and 2015, and construction of the new Fire Station No. 1 on Oak and Lincoln streets in 2015.