Pullman roundabout construction promotes pedestrian, driver safety

Roundabouts will be completed in June; public works director, Pullman residents discuss traffic, student drivers

Aspen+Heights+Development+is+planning+to+build+a+roundabout+at+the+intersection+of+North+Grand+Avenue+and+Albion+Road+to+alleviate+traffic+congestion+from+a+new+student+housing+complex.

COURTESY OF DEBBIE SNELL

Aspen Heights Development is planning to build a roundabout at the intersection of North Grand Avenue and Albion Road to alleviate traffic congestion from a new student housing complex.

LIAM CONNORS, Evergreen reporter

This month, the City of Pullman will construct two roundabouts, aiming to decrease traffic volume and accomodate pedestrians.

These roundabouts will be built on the intersection of Northeast Terre View Drive and Northeast North Fairway Road and at the intersection of State Route 27 and Albion Drive.

The Terre View Drive roundabout project began on May 9 and is expected to last until June 1, according to the Pullman Traffic Control website. It is expected to be fully complete by August, solving the recent increase of traffic and accidents on that road, said Clayton Forsmann, deputy public works director for the City of Pullman.

“The intersection had steadily seen an increase in traffic volume. There were pretty big delays, especially at peak hours, along with an increase in civilian traffic,” he said.

Forsmann said Terre View Drive had also seen an uptick in crashes as a result of this increase in pedestrian and vehicle traffic.

WSU alum Eiki Nellams lives near the construction site and said he is glad to see a roundabout being made. He hopes there will be more roundabouts constructed across the U.S.

“Washington drivers are something else, but I think roundabouts will generally assist in safer driving practices,” Nellams said.

Forsmann said roundabouts help increase safety by reducing speeds and severe accidents.

“They accommodate pedestrians, and the roundabout chicanes will help pedestrians cross and slow cars down,” he said.

Pullman resident Katie Wixom disagrees with Nellams and Forsmann about roundabouts being a safer alternative to traditional intersections.

“Back in my hometown, nobody knew how to drive in roundabouts, so I don’t think it will be any different with a bunch of drunk college kids,” she said.

The Albion Drive roundabout officially began construction on May 16 and is expected to be completed  sometime in July, Forsmann said.

This roundabout is a development project coinciding with an apartment development project by Aspen Heights out of Texas. After a traffic analysis was completed, they concluded that a roundabout is the best way to alleviate traffic congestion from the student housing complex, Forsmann said.

Phase one of the construction project will be dedicated to building the west side of the roundabout, and delays will be expected until June 13, according to the project report.

Due to construction, residents will have to drive in a single lane and watch for temporary traffic signals. Someone will be there to guide cars through the construction if traffic demands it. The project report suggests people limit their trips on the road.