Some Question Roundabouts' Benefits On Raleigh's Hillsborough Street

Posted November 11, 2005 5:53 a.m. EST

— Raleigh planners want to add 11 roundabouts to Hillsborough Street, but some people are concerned about traffic flow.

"I think that's fabulous as long as they figure out where they're going to put the rest of the traffic," driver Debbie Carraway. "My major concern would be if we take away from Hillsborough Street, if we drop it down from four lanes to two, traffic is going to wind up in the neighborhoods nearby as people try to wind around and find a place to either park or get where they're going."

"For people who want to go from central Raleigh to west Raleigh, actually Western Boulevard would be the right street to do that. It's four or six lanes," Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker said. "Hillsborough Street will be more slower-paced, more pedestrian-oriented and really for those who are stopping there, as opposed to commuting through."

Many people are concerned about traffic flow on Hillsborough Street when the lanes squeeze down from four lanes to two and the roundabouts come in. However, slower traffic is exactly what some business owners like Kevin Jennings are looking for.

"Keep Hillsborough Street from being a place to drive through. Make it a place to drive to and I believe this will help that," he said.

One of Raleigh's first roundabouts arrived to less than rave reviews on the N.C. State campus three years ago. Over time, driver complaints decreased. The city expects more complaints when it changes Hillsborough Street.

The road bond money will fund three roundabouts. There is no final decision where they will be. Meeker would like to see them by November 2006.