Killdeer’s roundabout controversyThough the deadline for comments has expired, Killdeer residents are still asking for public opinion on a proposed traffic-controlling device for a busy intersection south of town.
By: April Baumgarten, The Dickinson Press
Though the deadline for comments has expired, Killdeer residents are still asking for public opinion on a proposed traffic-controlling device for a busy intersection south of town.
Grab N’ Go employees on Tuesday confirmed there was a request for written comments at the gas station regarding a $1.3 million roundabout to be built at the Highway 22 and Highway 200 intersection.
Grab N’ Go employees declined further comment and the owners were unavailable Tuesday.
The North Dakota Department of Transportation’s public input deadline was Oct. 31, said Peggy Anderson, DOT spokesperson. She added Tuesday that the project is in the design phase.
City Administrator Dawn Marquardt said an employee from Grab N’ Go took comment sheets made available by the DOT because people were asking for them.
The DOT held a public meeting Oct. 12 at Killdeer City Hall so officials could discuss improvements to be made at the intersection. Increased traffic has caused delays and several accidents, officials said. More than 6,400 vehicles per day entered the junction in 2010, according to the DOT. It expects that number to jump to 8,700 by 2030.
The roundabout would direct traffic in a counterclockwise circle until the driver chooses to exit.
DOT representatives also presented an idea for turning lanes at the meeting, but suggested that would be a temporary fix.
Mayor Dan Dolechek said he knew of mixed feelings about the options offered at the meeting, but he was unaware of the request for comments.
“People don’t always like new things,” Dolechek said.
Planning and Zoning President Greg Andersen said he didn’t have enough information to decide if he would be for or against the roundabout, but said he understood why people would be against it.
“I’d like to see what it looks like and what its effects are out there,” Andersen said. “It doesn’t look like there is enough room with all those businesses.”
Marquardt said people have expressed concerns about the roundabout, and some are not happy with the proposal.
“It probably does work well in other areas, but with the truck traffic here, I have reservations on how it could work here,” she said. “The majority of the people I have talked to have the same feeling — it just isn’t a fit for here.”
The DOT received 15 comments on the project by its deadline. Two of the comments were in opposition.
Several people have told Marquardt they would like traffic lights at the intersection, which is also what she would like.
“It would be much better than what it is now,” she said. “It’s a mess.”
Dolechek has seen roundabouts work in other communities, though he wasn’t sure if the roundabout would work with the high density of traffic in the area. He added that he was open to both ideas.
“It’s only a matter of time before it happens,” Dolechek said. “Something needs to be done.”
The roundabout is expected to cost between $1.2 million and $1.3 million. The DOT said it will open bids in March. A completion date has not been set.