Around and around and around you go — where you stop? Nobody knows?
That might be the feeling some drivers have when navigating roundabouts on the roadway, but with three such intersections in active use along Highway 33, Port Washington and Saukville officials are hopeful residents are getting used to them.
"I'm personally really getting used to them, I think they will do what they're designed to do … its just something that we have to change our driving habits," Saukville Police Chief Bill Meloy said.
Meloy said the department has responded to three minor accidents in the roundabouts, but he blames the fact that the area is currently "busy" with construction workers, gravel-littered roads and other distractions — rather than incorrect use of roundabouts.
And Port Washington Police Chief Kevin Hingiss said the only problems his department has faced so far in connection with roundabouts have been complaints about gravel in the road and the unfinished curbing.
The project started in late spring 2011, with plans to from South Tower Street in Port Washington to the Milwaukee River overflow bridge in Saukville. The three roundabouts were added at the intersections of Hwy. 33 and County LL, Hwy. 33 and Northwoods Road, and Hwy. 33 and Market Street.
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Initially, the Department of Transportation Project Manager , but Port Washington City Engineer Rob Vanden Noven said the project is now slated to end on Aug. 17.
The highway is set to close July 16 for final construction of the roundabout at the intersection with LL, and traffic will have to take the detour starting at 7 a.m. that day, Vanden Noven said. Some night paving will also have to take place, but that date has not yet been determined.
Meloy said he’s confident that once the construction is complete, the roundabouts will be a great addition — moving traffic flow more efficiently and resulting in fewer serious accidents.
In the meantime, if you’re still having trouble navigating the roundabouts — here are some tips from the Wisconsin DOT website:
- Slow down.
- Watch for and obey traffic signs.
- Move into the correct lane for the direction you want to travel.
- Yield to pedestrians and bicyclists as you enter and exit the roundabout.
- Look to the left for traffic.
- Enter when it is safe.
- Keep your speed low and stay in your lane within the roundabout (do not change lanes within the roundabout).
- Exit carefully to your destination. Use your right-turn signal, in front of the splitter island just prior to your exit, to indicate your intention to exit.
What do you think about the roundabouts? Tell us in the comments.