Rotary Improvements?

Rotary Improvements?

Dun Fudgin
Joined: 21 Jun 2007, 03:54

20 Nov 2017, 07:01 #1

I get a kick out of articles like this. They don't mention a major distraction for drivers on Grant Circle and that's the sign waving people who stand next to the rotary! To outlaw that practice should be the #1 item.

Per the Gloucester Times:
More and more, in these times of increasing traffic and increasingly distracted drivers, collisions in or around Grant Circle are occurring, and city councilors are acting to have safety issues at the Gloucester rotary addressed.
The council last week unanimously backed a call from Councilor at-Large Jamie O'Hara to ask the state Department of Transportation to paint lines on Washington Street where it enters Grant Circle on the north and south in an effort to ease congestion among drivers looking to join the challenge of traversing the circle.
A day after the council action, a driver pulling up to Grant Circle stopped to be sure the coast was clear. Before she could enter the rotary from Washington Street, she was struck from behind by another driver who was looking toward the oncoming rotary traffic and thought the first driver had gone ahead, police reports say.

It was the first of two Grant Circle collisions that day — both drivers had apparently left the scene when police arrived to assist with the second crash — and at least the fifth reported within the busy circle since Oct. 15, police reports indicate. 
O'Hara, who helped launch and has headed the grassroots group Citizens for Public Safety, says painting lines on the roads leading into the circle won't be enough. He'd like to at least discuss adding lines that separate traffic traveling in the circle, and consider new options for the pedestrian walkway that greets drivers heading up or down the Route 128 Extension.
"If you just sit in the Friendly's (at Cape Ann Plaza off Grant Circle) parking lot for even 10, 15 minutes, you wouldn't believe what you see," he said. "The circle seems to be getting more violent — and when you look at the crosswalk and see women crossing with baby carriages, people in wheelchairs and everybody else, that's an accident just waiting to happen."
State Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr, a Gloucester resident, says O'Hara is clearly not alone — and his concerns are not new.
"I think it's fair to say this is an issue we've been looking at almost constantly over the years," Tarr said. "We all know there is a high volume of traffic at the rotary, and there is an issue with pedestrians as well."
Tarr said the most recent change was the addition of the flashing yellow advisory signal triggered when pedestrians push a button when approaching the crosswalk in 2007. There also have been talks of building a tunnel under the highway, building a pedestrian bridge over it, or moving the crosswalk farther north so it's not part of the circle, Tarr said. Nothing has gained consensus or state support.
"We have to all be on the same page, the mayor, the council, the DOT," Tarr said, "and I don't have any sense we're there yet, not at all."

From every possible answer, he said, have come new questions. If, for example, the state Department of Transportation painted lines creating lanes within the circle, how would they be designated?
"When you come over the (A. Piatt Andrew) bridge," he said, "would you have the right lane just for people turning down Washington Street but then have people going up the Extension stay left and then have to shift right just as they pass Washington?" That, he acknowledged, might make things worse, and a number of the accidents in recent weeks have involved drivers entering the circle from Washington Street.
O'Hara conceded that a basic problem is that Grant Circle is "small as rotaries go," much more so than the more expansive Blackburn Circle just up the Route 128 Extension near the Gloucester Crossing shopping complex. He also admits there may be questions as to whether the entrance into the circle from lower Washington Street is wide enough for two lanes under DOT standards.
Tarr said the first step should be to invite a DOT team for a site visit at Grant Circle.
"But I also think it's time for all of us — the council, the mayor, and people of Gloucester — to hold discussion to decide what it is we want," Tarr said. "That's what we all have to decide first.
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NightStalker
Joined: 15 Apr 2006, 05:02

20 Nov 2017, 14:38 #2

there was a rotary in Methuen that had lines and arrows.  they are in the process of getting rid of it with overpasses and interchanges.       the only other one I've seen that has lines is in Sanford maine
You think you know it, but you haven't got a clue!!
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Fortune Cookie
Joined: 13 Nov 2010, 17:37

20 Nov 2017, 15:16 #3

Nobody around here pays attention to lines and arrows and rules of the road, so the planners can do whatever they want and it won't make a damned bit of difference. The drivers will drive as shittily as ever and the cops won't enforce the rules. 

There are, in fact, quite a few rotaries (or "roundabouts") with lane marking and arrows and the state is creating more. The newest one I'm aware of, which the locals hate (because they hate change, I guess) is in Wakefield. 
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Fortune Cookie

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peregrine
Joined: 23 Dec 2007, 03:06

20 Nov 2017, 15:58 #4

There's the 129 rotary in Reading under 128, newly painted, and it's a total disaster.  A traffic engineer gone berserk.  The only thing you can do is ignore the lines and head for the place you want to go to.  While observing the usual rotary yield rules, of course, which is much more difficult if you have to watch the lines as well.

-- peregrine
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Fortune Cookie
Joined: 13 Nov 2010, 17:37

20 Nov 2017, 16:08 #5

That's probably the one I'm thinking of. 
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Fortune Cookie

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Fortune Cookie
Joined: 13 Nov 2010, 17:37

20 Nov 2017, 16:11 #6

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Fortune Cookie

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battlingignorance
Joined: 01 Sep 2012, 12:06

20 Nov 2017, 16:43 #7

It is so very simple and logical.
Two lanes enter the rotary from 128 (in either direction) and exit into the same 2 lanes through to exit the other side. Ergo - there are two lanes (albeit unmarked) in the rotary.

Treat it just like a 4 way-stop, but where you only have to yield to other traffic already in the thing.

Coming North...right lane to turn right (downtown) or straight through (staying in the right lane); left lane to go straight through to Blackburn (staying in the left lane), or turn left (Lanesville). Coming south from Blackburn Circle...the same principle: right lane to turn right (Lanesville) or straight through, left lane for straight through or left turn (Washington/downtown).

The Washington Street (single lane in either direction, except for the widening at the rotary) entrances should be clearly marked to enforce what the majority of (good) drivers do already: From Downtown, take the right lane for right turn or straight through the single-entry lane (to Lanesville) & take the left lane to turn left onto 128 South. From Lanesville, take the right lane to turn right onto 128 South, & take the left entry Lane for straight through - into the single-lane entry to downtown) or left up 128 North to Blackburn.

It is the simplest and most logical thing...that most aware drivers already do.

Done
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Damon
Joined: 25 Jun 2007, 22:00

20 Nov 2017, 19:23 #8

What I notice is two recurring problems at Grant circle.
The first is the pedestrian crossing. Cars stop, others coming from Washington St or from 128 do not notice in time. It is accidents hardly waiting to happen.
The second is that many drivers, particularly from out of state, do not seem to know that the vehicle already on the rotary has the right of way.
I  am not sure any amount of line painting will help although I would like to see proposals.
Years ago, when Pat Fiero was our state rep, I did some sketches for her of pedestrian bridge concepts. It is not trivial because there is not a whole lot of room on either end for ramps for wheelchairs and baby carriages. However it could be done. I urged against pursuing a pedestrian tunnel because I thought it invited mugging and flooding.
Meanwhile I often take Cherry St and Maplewood Ave.
Don't you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought?...   ..........
 George Orwell , 1984
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drinkycrow
Joined: 10 May 2007, 13:48

20 Nov 2017, 20:55 #9

Damon wrote: What I notice is two recurring problems at Grant circle.
The first is the pedestrian crossing. Cars stop, others coming from Washington St or from 128 do not notice in time. It is accidents hardly waiting to happen.
The second is that many drivers, particularly from out of state, do not seem to know that the vehicle already on the rotary has the right of way.
I  am not sure any amount of line painting will help although I would like to see proposals.
Years ago, when Pat Fiero was our state rep, I did some sketches for her of pedestrian bridge concepts. It is not trivial because there is not a whole lot of room on either end for ramps for wheelchairs and baby carriages. However it could be done. I urged against pursuing a pedestrian tunnel because I thought it invited mugging and flooding.

Meanwhile I often take Cherry St and Maplewood Ave.
A 50s relic like the rotary cannot be brought into the 21st century simply by painting lanes that will be totally ignored. The only real solution is either a pedestrian overpass or a tunnel but it seems they are more concerned about vehicles bumping into each other, than vehicles running over squishy humans.
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battlingignorance
Joined: 01 Sep 2012, 12:06

21 Nov 2017, 13:32 #10

For out-of-staters who don't know a rotary (so few, in reality) - proper and large signage approaching the damn thing from 128 would go a long way to helping...as would proper signage for which lane to be in for which exit. Painting the lanes would go a long way towards fewer cock-ups.
"'50s relic"?!  Come on...they are everywhere in Europe and contribute to much easier traffic flow.

I agree, Damon, that the pedestrian crossing is a nightmare - a bridge is the only real solution.

This really is a pretty simple problem to solve ("solve" not meaning eradicating all accidents....that'll never happen. Anywhere. Until all cars drive themselves!)
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drinkycrow
Joined: 10 May 2007, 13:48

21 Nov 2017, 19:07 #11

battlingignorance wrote: For out-of-staters who don't know a rotary (so few, in reality) - proper and large signage approaching the damn thing from 128 would go a long way to helping...as would proper signage for which lane to be in for which exit. Painting the lanes would go a long way towards fewer cock-ups.
"'50s relic"?!  Come on...they are everywhere in Europe and contribute to much easier traffic flow.

I agree, Damon, that the pedestrian crossing is a nightmare - a bridge is the only real solution.

This really is a pretty simple problem to solve ("solve" not meaning eradicating all accidents....that'll never happen. Anywhere. Until all cars drive themselves!)
50s relic as in taking a 4 lane highway and dumping it into a residential street. The rotary itself is fine, except the volume of traffic is overwhelming and cars are king, so who cares about pedestrians.
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Cathy (Admin)
Joined: 13 Aug 2005, 09:30

22 Nov 2017, 02:21 #12

I like the pedestrian crossing signs at Gorton's near Flanagan Square.  They are very effective in that they are eye-catching and visible from a distance.  I've wondered if similar signs could be tied into the current rotary pedestrian crossing signal and placed at each of the other entries to the rotary as an alert to drivers before they enter the rotary that there is a pedestrian crossing.
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Dun Fudgin
Joined: 21 Jun 2007, 03:54

22 Nov 2017, 05:49 #13

Those entering the rotary from Washington/Friendly's look left waiting for an opening then hit the gas. If the pedestrian lights are flashing to their right it doesn't provide enough time in some instances to stop especially when there are several cars already stopped. And I figure those yellow flashing lights would be more effective if they were red.
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battlingignorance
Joined: 01 Sep 2012, 12:06

22 Nov 2017, 13:45 #14

Cathy and Dun -- yes, indeed.
I hear that, drinky - it's an anomaly, for sure. I always favoured a footbridge for pedestrians, myself.

Without spending probably $50million to elevate the 128 up and over Washington - we can still make the best of a less-than-perfect situation.
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Thong Extractor
Joined: 28 Feb 2008, 22:45

22 Nov 2017, 13:48 #15

How about no crossing there at all. Make them walk up Poplar and down Maplewood.
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t
Joined: 11 Aug 2007, 04:04

22 Nov 2017, 13:59 #16

Signage up the highway would be the number one improvement for traffic, informing people where to be 1/2 mile back

How about a red light for the pedestrian crossing like a normal pedestrian crossing, yeah, you would have to have two buttons, one on the island, well actually 4 two on the island, directional. A red light on the island for the southbound traffic, because you cannot see it when you are right on top of it.

Right lane for immediate right turn only signs

most dangerous there is the people on Washington st southbound shooting out from the right land and going straight, right as you are hitting the gas to continue on 128 southbound. Idiots.

I would vote for stop signs on all the entrances, much as I enjoy the late night empty slalom it would reinforce the rotary right of way

I often think walking around is the better idea, but it aint gonna happen
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Leland33
Joined: 02 Apr 2011, 03:07

22 Nov 2017, 16:05 #17

Thong Extractor wrote: How about no crossing there at all. Make them walk up Poplar and down Maplewood.
I also think this is the best solution. Maplewood has new sidewalks. I think it’s the best route to get to stores and the heart of downtown from Patriots and AGH area.

Fence off the rotary ped crossing at Grant Circle and place aesthetic signs to get pedestrians over to the Maplewood Ave underpass and return trip as well.

MOST OF ALL - Poplar DOES NEED SIDEWALKS ANYWAY.

The downside is a Poplar sidewalk is city money - maybe a state grant? or just be young again like Damon and walk up Cherry Street.


As far as people driving into grant circle I think HUGE “YIELD” SIGNS PAINTED ON THE ROAD 10 - 15 feet high - would direct people to be safe and yield. Some states you yield IF IN the rotary AND NOT entering.
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Damon
Joined: 25 Jun 2007, 22:00

22 Nov 2017, 18:54 #18

" Some states you yield IF IN the rotary AND NOT entering."
==============================================

Is there not something of a mathematical problem here? Infinite density rotaries?
Don't you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought?...   ..........
 George Orwell , 1984
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drinkycrow
Joined: 10 May 2007, 13:48

22 Nov 2017, 19:57 #19

Thong Extractor wrote: How about no crossing there at all. Make them walk up Poplar and down Maplewood.
Because its a residential street and people live on it. This should have been addressed way back in the 50s. Why "make" people walk around the street they live on. Besides that, Poplar lacks sidewalks on a couple of sections. That problem also needs to be addressed.
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battlingignorance
Joined: 01 Sep 2012, 12:06

22 Nov 2017, 23:37 #20

Leland33 wrote:
Thong Extractor wrote: How about no crossing there at all. Make them walk up Poplar and down Maplewood.
I also think this is the best solution.  Maplewood has new sidewalks.  I think it’s the best route to get to stores and the heart of downtown from Patriots and AGH area.

Some states you yield IF IN the rotary AND NOT entering.
Hmmm - I've drive a whole lotta miles across this country over the years, and have never seen that. Where are they?
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