No Way Around It? City Considers Roundabout at Lincoln Intersection

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Lincoln, NE-- A high rate of accidents at the intersection of Fremont St. and North 66th St. is the reason why the City of Lincoln is remodeling the cross streets.

The Public Works and Utilities Department, along with Alfred Benesch & Company proposes three alternatives to the intersection, that are designed to reduce the number of crashes.

The first would thin the streets to create a more narrow road. This strategy aims to make drivers feel like they have less room on the road and feel uncomfortable speeding.

The other two options are a mini roundabout or an urban, or full roundabout.

Craig Aldridge with Public Works says the intersection does not meet federal criteria to install a stop light.

But the changes won't come without input from the people who use the intersection the most.

An open house at Pershing Elementary School Thursday, welcomed those who wanted to hear the three options for the intersection and ask questions or give input.

Many opposed the roundabout option and say it will cause more accidents. Some say the problem is a slope that collects water in the winter and freezes, making the roads more slippery.

"We'll if they don't fix the grade and the slope there's still going to be a significant amount of accidents," said Peg Hansen.

Another concern for Hansen and others is the proximity of Pershing Elementary to the intersection.

Many children use the cross streets to get to school, and in an accident prone area, parents don't want something that they say would make the problem worse.

The project is being funded through the Federal Highway Safety Improvement Program, which requires a 10 percent local match. The city's match will come from funds designated for safety projects.

The early estimated cost of the project is $1,000,000. Local taxpayers will pay $100,000.