Thanks for talking about roundabout

We appreciate Nevada Department of Transportation's efforts to educate Carson Valley residents about the roundabout proposed for Highway 88 and County Road in Minden.

Stepping into the lion's den, Chief Safety/Traffic Engineer Fred Droes described the roundabout to residents and tried to ease their fears.

He deserves full credit and by all accounts acquitted himself admirably at the March 29 meeting.

That doesn't mean we've changed our minds about a roundabout, but we welcome an informed debate on the issue.

Our opposition is based on three issues we see with a roundabout at a very busy location.

The intersection of Fifth Street and Edmonds in Carson City is often cited by supporters of a roundabout as a successful example.

Our point is that Highway 88 and County Road is closer to William and Saliman in Carson City. The present roundabout is in as rural a location as exists in the capital city. We probably wouldn't mind a roundabout someplace quieter and it wouldn't affect as many people.

At his presentation, Droes estimated the life of the roundabout to be 5-10 years, which will be built at a cost of $500,000. At its least expensive, that's $50,000 a year. After a decade has passed, Droes said the intersection might qualify for a larger roundabout, which we can only assume will cost more.

Even adding up the dozens of lawsuits the state anticipates a traffic light would prompt, it seems to us that a traffic signal is more cost effective over time.

The roundabout debate circles around fear - residents' fear of the new traffic devices versus the state's fear of lawsuits.

Our fear that residents would not be heard on this issue, however, has been allayed.


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