Residents oppose roundabout proposal, council votes it down

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COLUMBIA – City council members are looking for a new solution to safety and traffic problems at the Green Meadows Road and Forum Boulevard intersection.

This comes after residents voiced their opposition to a roundabout proposal at the city council meeting, Tuesday night.

The roundabout project was designed in response to safety and traffic concerns at the current four-way stop sign intersection.

“The big reason that we’re looking at a roundabout is accident crash data,” said Council Member Michael Trapp. “There have been 13 significant accidents there in a four year period. There’s also a high volume of traffic backups. I believe there’s an average of 45 second waits and almost 2,000 cars during rush hour.”

Councilman Ian Thomas said he believes the roundabout is a good idea, but voted against it because of residents’ opposition.

“I think the roundabout is a good design, I think it’s an appropriate place for a roundabout,” said Thomas. “However, I’m not going to support it. I’m not going to support a proposal that has such a strong opposition and dozens of people coming out on a Tuesday night to oppose it.”

Many residents who stood up to speak at the meeting said they would prefer a traffic light for the intersection.

Councilwoman Laura Nauser said she was in favor of that.

“I think that I agree with the people who have come and testified before us this evening, that a traffic signal would solve our problems today and offer us a good solution for the future,” Nauser said.

After nearly two hours of public hearing and discussion, the council decided to ask engineers to come up with a traffic light option, as well as other options for the intersection.