By Matt Clevenger
TROY — Members of the Troy City Council’s Committee of the Whole held a work session on Monday, Sept. 11, to discuss a recent study of the West Main Street and Experiment Farm Road/South Stanfield Road intersection that recommends the installation of a roundabout to replace the existing traffic signal.
“We’ve known that the intersection at Experiment Farm, Stanfield and West Main Street is at capacity, and that to improve traffic flow some kind of modifications would need to be done,” Director of Public Service and Safety Patrick Titterington said.
The study, completed by American Structurepoint of Indianapolis, recommends installation of a roundabout at the intersection to replace the existing traffic signal.
“In 2020, we commissioned American Structurepoint to come in, update the traffic impact study, and do an evaluation of that intersection and provide us with some design alternatives to consider,” Titterington said.
During the committee work session, representatives from American Structurepoint also delivered a presentation to council members on the study, which included a safety study of the West Main corridor between Marybill Drive and the Interstate 75 ramps from 2019-2022.
“We found that the West Main and Experiment Farm intersection was where the concentration of crashes were,” lead Engineer Shane Morris said.
“There were 114 crashes at this intersection in the years we studied,” he said. “The majority of them are rear-end crashes.”
Problems with the existing intersection and signal include congestion and closely-spaced driveways, Morris said.
“The skew of the intersection is not the traditional 90-degree turns,” he said. “If you’re heading westbound or eastbound, to make a left turn you’re doing a 120-degree turn.”
“It’s not natural,” he said. “You can’t make that turn quick; it’s difficult to do.”
The existing intersection’s crosswalk is also approximately 100-feet-long in some places, Morris said. “With any widening, that’s going to push it to 130-feet,” he said. “That’s a long way to walk.”
Installation of a roundabout would cost an estimated $4 million, Morris said, approximately the same amount as adding lanes and upgrading the existing traffic signal.
“They’re both right at about $4 million,” he said.
The city is seeking grant funding for approximately 40 to 60% of the project’s total cost, city of Troy Engineer Jill Rhoades said, and construction of a roundabout could be completed by July of 2027 at the very earliest.
“The detailed design will be done in the next three or four years,” Rhoades said.
Several citizens also commented on the potential installation of a roundabout during the work session.
“It’s a bad idea,” Sam Pellegrino said. “I see it as a safety factor, especially for young drivers.”
“I believe the signalized intersection, although you indicated there will be more expense, I think that would be better and safer than the roundabout,” Pellegrino said.
“I would like to see the signalized intersection done for a start, maybe put some refuge islands in to break up that 130-foot-crosswalk, and be done with it,” Bradley Behringer said. “I just think this is trouble waiting to happen.”
“I live very close to McKaig and Dorset,” Aimee Shannon said. “What amazes me is the amount of people who do not know how to drive it.”
“When it works, it works really well,’ Shannon said. “I personally am OK with a roundabout, but we’ve got to find some way to educate people.”
“The No. 1 benefit is the significant reduction in crashes,” American Structurepoint road crew team leader Tony Lenhart said. “There will still be property damage-only crashes, but it significantly reduces the amount of severe and fatal accidents.”
According to the study, the current signal will not be able to handle future increases in traffic flow at the intersection.
“We ran several different simulations with the existing signal as it is right now, and it’s starting to breakdown in about seven to 10 years,” Morris said.
“We are having capacity issues right now,” Titterington said. “We are at the point where we need to start doing the planning.”
“We’ve also been pursuing other grants through the Department of Development as well as the Ohio Public Works Commission to try to reduce the upfront construction costs as much as possible,” he said.
Committee members also heard an update on the installation of another roundabout planned for the intersection of Adams Street and Staunton Road, which could be ready for bidding in late 2024 or early 2025.
“That will go into design next year,” Rhoades said. “We didn’t want that to be under construction at the same time as West Main Street.”
The roundabout at Adams and Staunton could be completed sometime before 2027, Rhoades said.
“It will probably be earlier than that,” she said. “That’s a smaller roundabout.”