City of West Fargo considers adding more roundabouts

Roundabout study
Roundabout study(none)
Published: Sep. 18, 2023 at 10:24 PM CDT
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WEST FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - It’s national roundabout week, and City Engineer Dan Hanson made a presentation to the City Commission tonight about two new spots for proposed roundabouts.

One roundabout is being recommended at 9th St W and 52nd Ave W near Legacy Elementary. Hanson says the city was contacted by Legacy saying they don’t feel current crosswalk is as safe as it should be, and one school of thought is that a roundabout is safest way to handle the problem.

Other commissioners argues they don’t understand how roundabout would make the area safer regarding students getting to Legacy. One Commissioner added he frequently sees 80 cars backed up at the existing roundabout in the area.

Hanson says a traffic study was completed in 2021 by Bolton & Menk that recommended the installation of around about at the intersection of 52nd Ave W and 9th St W. This project would remove the existing 2‐way stop at 52nd Ave W and 9th Street W and install a slip‐lane roundabout with Westbound to Northbound and Northbound to Eastbound slip lanes. Aside from concerns regarding Legacy, Hanson says this slip lane design also allows for future expansion of 52nd Ave W from 9th Street W to Sheyenne Street and will not be required to be modified for any future 52nd Ave projects.

The district is proposed to be assessed for 80% in accordance with the 2022 CIP policy for regional reconstruction projects. The average assessment for a single family residential property is estimated to be $1,200 which is anticipated to be assessed over a 25 year term.

The other roundabout being considered is at 23rd Ave E and 6th St E near Costco.

Two traffic studies were completed since 2020 on this corridor. In the 2023 study completed by Bolton & Menk, a roundabout was recommended to be installed. A standard traffic signal would be adequate for current traffic, but would provide less adequate Level of Service (LOS) upon future development of the area. This project seeks to increase the capacity of the intersection of 23rd Ave Eand 6th Street E. This intersection has recent commercial development and planned future development which will increase the traffic through the existing corridor. In the study completed in February 2023 was recommended a roundabout be completed at this intersection to compliment the intersection improvements at 23rd Ave E and Bluestem Drive.

This project is presented per the policy established with the 2022 CIP of assessing 80% of regional reconstruction projects. The City’s financial contribution to the project is proposed to utilize Capital Improvement Sales Tax revenue. No cost per property has been determined, but it would depend of the size of the property. Hanson says Costco would carry the largest burden.

City Commissioners approved both engineers reports in 3-2 votes. The commission is set to meet again October 2. To hear the full discussion, click here.