Traffic

Raleigh's troublesome traffic circle is getting a makeover

Posted July 27, 2012 3:04 p.m. EDT
Updated July 27, 2012 7:51 p.m. EDT

— Raleigh's only two-lane roundabout is getting a makeover.

Crews installed the roundabout at the intersection of Hillsborough Street and Pullen Road near North Carolina State University two years ago as part of a larger street improvement project to make the area more pedestrian friendly.

But drivers have complained ever since, saying it's nothing but confusion.

City engineers agree, and they are reducing the traffic circle from two lanes to one as part of an overnight project Friday that will close the intersection from 8:30 p.m. until 6 a.m. Saturday.

John Sandor, a transportation engineer with the City of Raleigh, says they are trying reduce the number of "conflict points" in the area that could potentially cause crashes.

Since the roundabout opened in July 2010, there have been 132 crashes there – all of which were minor.

Reducing it to one lane, Sandor says, should lower that number.

Across the state, there are only three other two-lane roundabouts – two in Davidson and one in Winston-Salem, according to the North Carolina Department of Transportation.

In contrast to Raleigh, there were 22 minor crashes at the Davidson roundabouts from 2007 to 2009.

From 2006 to 2009, according to the DOT, there were only 13 wrecks at the Winston-Salem circle.