SUSAN FORBES: Other fixes needed more than roundabout
I agree with the questions Andrew Kinter raised regarding the news article “PennDOT weighs roundabout for the juncture east of Indiana.”
As one who uses this intersection weekly, I, too, have had only very short delays before moving along through this intersection. I’m familiar with roundabouts, but I can’t see the benefit at this location. How much disruption and property purchase would be involved and at what cost?
Instead of this non-problematic intersection, perhaps instead the traffic lights at 13th Street and Oakland Avenue could be adjusted to create a true left turn arrow for inbound traffic to turn uphill onto 13th Street. That intersection is a true bottleneck at busy traffic times for drivers attempting to bypass IUP, and can be very hazardous with so many students crossing there. Fisher Avenue probably siphons off a portion of that traffic (see some of the recent paving patches on Fisher Avenue probably laid down to combat the heavy usage), but it can’t handle much.
Or, as Andrew Kinter suggested, bridge and other infrastructure improvements would be a good use of valuable PennDOT dollars. Somehow all this spending on rather inconsequential projects reminds me of the curb extension ‘bulb-outs’ foisted upon us with little evidence of any traffic calming benefit. Will a roundabout at an already-functional intersection be a similar non-improvement?