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Minot will soon be getting its first roundabout.
Members of the Minot City Council approved on April 1 a reconstruction plan for a portion of 31st Avenue Southeast that includes a roundabout at the intersection of 31st Avenue Southeast and 13th Street Southeast.
“When you have an intersection that functions poorly with a two-way stop or a four-way stop, but the traffic volume doesn’t warrant signals, a roundabout works great,” said City Engineer Lance Meyer. “Eventually, as that section of the city continues to grow, we’ll have more and more people who will wait in line on 31st Avenue. The longer people wait, the more frustrated they get, which can lead to more people taking chances trying to get through the intersection. This will lead to more and more accidents. The roundabouts help meter the traffic through in all directions, thus reducing the waiting time or delay at the intersection.”
The project will reconstruct 31st Avenue Southeast from Broadway to 13th Street SE with a new concrete roadway, new street lighting, curb and gutter, and utilities, as well as new storm sewer. The current path alongside the road will be moved to the north side and sidewalks added to the south side of the road. The project is currently in the design stage and is scheduled for construction in 2020. You can find more information about the project at minotroads.com.
The roundabout is only one component of the project, but will likely be the most discussed aspect before, during, and after the project.
“It’s just something new. It might take a little time for people to get used to it, but at some point, it will be second nature to drivers,” Meyer said. “You always have to yield to the vehicle in the roundabout. If everyone can remember that one rule, roundabouts work really well.”
Meyer said roundabouts provide a safer method of moving traffic.
“They practically eliminate angle crashes, like t-bone collisions. Now, the typical accident in a roundabout is a rear-end crash or a side swipe; generally, those aren’t as harmful,” he said. “Plus, you’re forced to slow down to go through a roundabout and that leads to better safety, too.”
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