Genesee County planners seek public input on roundabout study



The roundabout at Grand Blanc and Morrish roads is one of several that have been built around Genesee County. Photo by Lania Rocha

The roundabout at Grand Blanc and Morrish roads is one of several that have been built around Genesee County. Photo by Lania Rocha

GENESEE COUNTY — Starting this month, residents can help the Genesee County Metropolitan Planning Commission determine the best possible locations for roundabouts in Genesee County.

The Genesee County Metropolitan Planning Commission (GCMPC), along with Rowe Professional Engineering Services, will be conducting a comprehensive traffic study to evaluate 3,600 intersections in the county. Data gathered from the study will be based on crash history, traffic volumes and current intersection operations and will be used by the county to pursue grant funding for the most feasible roundabout locations.

Sharon Gregory, lead planner for the GCMPC, said that roundabouts have many safety-related advantages when compared to conventional intersections.

“(Roundabouts) can reduce congestion, increase safety and save money and labor because there are no signals to maintain,” she said. “A conventional four-way intersection also has 32 potential points of conflict (where two vehicles can crash into each other), compared to only eight with a roundabout.”

Gregory said that the study will include a skim analysis, early preliminary engineering, microsimulation, collection of drone video and a final report. The skim analysis will identify which intersections could be most compatible for roundabout projects in terms of safety.

“There are many safety factors that can help determine an intersection’s suitability for a roundabout, such as amount and type of crashes, proximity to a railroad crossing, traffic count, gravel road, etc.,” Gregory said. “The skim analysis looks at multiple factors and eliminates the intersections where a roundabout would not work well.”

Residents can weigh in by following the study on the GCMPC’s new Facebook page “GeneseeCountyRIS,” which will feature educational information and provide answers to Frequently Asked Questions about roundabouts.

The GCMPC will also hold public input sessions this month and in December, along with sessions in March, April and June before the study is finalized.

“We want to hear from the public at their earliest convenience and see where they think a roundabout might work in their community,” Gregory said.

The study is expected to be completed by next September.

To keep informed on the study’s progress and comment on possible roundabout sites, search for “GCMPC County-Wide Roundabout Implementation Study” on Facebook. Residents can also go to gcmpc.org and click on the Facebook link for the Roundabout Study page or visit communityremarks.com/genesee to leave comments.