WEST MONROE, LA (08/14/19)–The expansion of Arkansas Road is creating a traffic change that West Monroe has never had, four new roundabouts. The Department of Transpiration and Development is hopeful that the Kiroli Road and Warren Drive roundabouts will be completed by next Thursday.
“Getting down Wallace Road after work, you might be there for thirty minutes trying to turn left on Arkansas road. I think it’s going to really help once people get use to it,” said Lee Hicks, Butcher at Gene Cox’s Grocery on Arkansas Road.
Roundabouts not only help speed up traffic, but lower the number of car wrecks.
“What roundabouts do is they reduce serious accidents by 90%. A lot of the serious accidents are what we call it a t-bone accident, where someone runs into a side of a vehicle,” said Marshall Hill, District Engineer at Louisiana Transportation and Development.
Driving through a four lane roundabout takes some getting used to.
“When you approach a round about, the thing to do is slow down and yield to the people in the round about,” said Hill.
If you plan on turning left, enter the roundabout in the left lane and don’t leave the inner lane until you exit.
“If you’re going to turn right in a roundabout, just get in the right lane before you enter, just like you would at a normal intersection,” said Hill.
If you are wanting to go straight through, stay in the left or right lane. Seldom, if ever, should you change lanes in the roundabout.
Some whose businesses are along Arkansas Road say they believe it will be successful.
“Maybe after a couple of months of everybody getting the feel for it and getting use to it and trying to figure out what do I do, where do I go,” said Hicks.
Each roundabout costs one million dollars, but DOTD says it is cheaper than having a traffic light at an intersection. In addition, there are plans for two other roundabout at the intersections of forty oaks farm road and good hope road.