Community Workshop #2 Recap

October 29th 6:00 – 8:00pm

Roundabout Facts & Myths
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Roundabout Facts & Myths

This session will bring in national experts who have developed many of the roundabout solutions across the United States to explain how they work, what has been learned, and what opportunities exist for Healdsburg.

Community Input: A question and answer period will provide an opportunity for community members to address issues associated with the future design and how it fits into Healdsburg.

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If you missed the Community Workshop #2 and would like to see the presentation, please click on the link below.

Community Workshop #2 Summary

2nd Community Workshop for Healdsburg Avenue Improvements – Roundabout Myths and Facts

The second community workshop to discuss the proposed Healdsburg Avenue Improvements was held on Wednesday Oct 29th.  Even though it was the final game of the 2014 World Series, approximately 20 community members attended the 90 minute meeting.  The session provided a quick recap of Meeting #1 and a more detailed discussion of Roundabouts in general, as well as the specific technical design solutions, criteria and background analysis that will go into shaping the final design for the intersection at Healdsburg Avenue and Mill Street.

GHD, as lead consultant for the effort, introduced Frank Penry who works in the Santa Rosa office.  Frank is a registered Traffic and Civil engineer with over 20 years experience, with a specific emphasis on development of safer intersections through roundabout design.  Using a format of ‘Myth and Fact’, Frank explained many of the misconceptions regarding roundabouts, based on both common practice as well as input from the Meeting #1 exit survey.

Based on attendee feedback from the second meeting, one of the most compelling aspects of a roundabout solution is the way that traffic is slowed coming into the roundabout – as low as 15 – 18mph which greatly reduces the number of accidents (because people have more time to react) or the severity of accidents, when they do happen (because vehicles are moving with such low force).

Frank also explained how the lanes are designed to a minimum width, which aids in slowing traffic, or traffic calming – but still allows large vehicles and emergency vehicles to navigate the roundabout by providing an ‘mountable apron’ of a textured material which can withstand the truck weights without causing damage to the center island or the vehicles.

Another notable discussion was regarding how pedestrians and cyclists navigate the roundabout.  Because pedestrians are only crossing one lane at a time, and because they have the right of way over vehicles, crossing times are reduced and much safer.  Similarly, cyclists have much better opportunity to navigate the roundabout because of reduced number of conflict points between vehicles and bicycles – 32 for a four way intersection and 8 for a roundabout.

Finally, Frank explained how the roundabout works when a train is passing through its center.  Because of the track path, and the roundabout configuration, only a limited number of movements will be closed with the roundabout solution, vs. a signalized intersection.

The meeting ended with Jim Heid explaining that the final result of this effort is both art and science.  While Meeting #2 focused on the ‘science’ of roundabouts, it set a perfect stage for the next meeting which will focus on the art of Healdsburg’s roundabout.  Some design factors such as lane width, curb design, angles of approach are highly regulated.  But other features such as pavement texture, signage concepts, landscape choice, lighting and even the buildings that frame the roundabout will be an important part of how Healdsburg makes the roundabout unique to this community.

The next community meeting, Healdsburg’s Design Character and What It Means for Healdsburg Avenue will be a highly interactive workshop – vs. presentation – to enlist the community’s input into the design character of Healdsburg.  The meeting will be held December 3rd from 6:00-9:00 pm at the Healdsburg Community Center, 1557 Healdsburg Avenue.

Implementing the Central Healdsburg Avenue Plan