Lancaster’s First Roundabout to Reduce Speeds, Enhance Safety, and Improve Traffic Efficiency
The City of Lancaster announced the completion of the Avenue L and Challenger Way roundabout. This traffic-calming technique is designed to reduce speeds and collisions through intersections, while increasing traffic flow efficiency and reducing long-term maintenance costs. The new roundabout is part of the Lancaster City Council’s larger vision to improve the safety and efficiency of all Lancaster roads. “The safety of the Lancaster community is the City Council’s top priority,” said Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris. “The introduction of traffic calming mechanisms throughout the City, such as this roundabout, represents one of the first steps on our path toward the improved safety and infrastructure of our entire road network.” By requiring drivers to slow down rather than stop while crossing an intersection, roundabouts slow traffic but prevent congestion, thus reducing collisions. Roundabouts are also widely recognized as more efficient means of traffic management, as they can handle more traffic in the same amount of time as a signaled intersection. “Lancaster’s generally wide, flat, traffic-free roads give people a false sense of safety at dangerously high speeds,” said Lancaster Council Member Ken Mann. “Roundabouts keep drivers moving safely and efficiently toward their destination.” A roundabout is particularly advantageous for the Avenue L and Challenger Way intersection, as it will more efficiently manage both the influx of cars toward the popular Lancaster National Soccer Center during tournament weekends and the low traffic flow during other times. Installing a roundabout rather than a new signal at this intersection will also cut initial installation costs and long-term maintenance costs, as more than half of the construction cost has been covered by a federally-funded Highway Safety Improvement Program grant. The roundabout will soon feature a monument entitled “Astral Challenger,” created by artist Shana Mabari. The piece has been designed to honor and commemorate the 1986 Space Shuttle Challenger flight, during which seven lives were lost. The monument is expected to be installed by early April. For more information regarding roundabouts, visit www.ABetterRoadAhead.com.