Recently the city approved $1.113 million of $1.6 million for the construction of a roundabout at Commerce Parkway and Perimeter Dr. The City had the project slated for funding as part of the five year Capital Improvements Program. The project was originally scheduled for build-out because of the construction of the Delta Energy headquarters. Originally planned for a 35,000 sq ft building, the building ultimately was only built to about 20,000 sq ft, drastically reducing the number of cars that would visit the site daily. So, while the building shrunk in size and the number of visitors decreased, the City didn’t scale back the road improvements. So, Dublin City Council allocated over $1.1 million to build “The Roundabout to Nowhere”. In order to construct the roundabout, they even authorized building a temporary street!
Kevin Walter is a proponent of roundabouts. They have proven to increase safety, increase traffic throughput and reduce the need for extra turn lanes. However, if the current trend holds true, Dublin may soon start constructing roundabouts inside our roundabouts! Placing a roundabout at Commerce and Perimeter now is nothing short of wasteful spending. A more affordable and practical solution would be to install a traffic light that works only during peak entry and exit times (before and after work) and blinks the rest of the time. $200,000 spent on this type of improvement simply makes sense. Should a roundabout be required in the future the intersection could be retrofitted.
Simply because the money is budgeted and available does not mean we should spend it. “The Roundabout to Nowhere” is another example of wasteful spending that could better go to paying down city debt or increasing focus on economic development.
Kevin Walter believes that transportation systems should be well planned and built in anticipation of need, but also mindful of true capacity needs.