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October 28, 2009 - 7:47am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, roundabout.

Batavia will finally get to see what a roundabout is all about starting Friday when construction of the Walnut Street project is finally finished.

No more construction cones or workers holding up traffic. Drivers will be able to navigate through the circle in real time and see if they like how traffic flows.

The roundabout will be closed Friday Thursday from 5 to 7 a.m. for a final repaving, and then the route will open Friday morning with no fanfare -- no ribbon-cutting, no speeches, no coffeecake and donuts -- you can just drive on it.

October 22, 2009 - 11:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, roundabout, Oak Street.

A one-vehicle accident has been reported in the roundabout on Oak Street.

The car apparently hit several traffic cones.

The initial call indicated there may have been an injury and City Fire and Mercy EMS were dispatched. A police officer who was first on scene reported no injuries and fire and EMS were canceled.

UPDATE: Police on scene have requested the nearest available tow. The car is stuck on the median, its front axle is damaged and the rear tire is going flat. The car is a Saturn.

October 8, 2009 - 9:32am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, roundabout.

A Food 4 Less delivery truck apparently became stuck in Batavia's Oak Street roundabout this morning.

The police officer who responded reported back to dispatch about 20 minutes later, "Clear CAD. No report. If they drive over the stamped portion of the concrete, they should be OK."

August 17, 2009 - 9:22pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, roundabout, Oak Street.

A semi-truck was temporarily stuck on Oak Street roundabout this evening.

The cause may have been a broken air line to the brakes, according to Batavia Police Officer Chris Camp. 

The line may have broke because of the current height difference between the brick inner turning circle and the outer asphalt area.

The truck was stuck on the circle for only a short time. It was no longer on scene by the time I arrived and I live close by (hence, no picture).

For those who don't know, as Camp explained to me, air brakes on trucks work differently than car brakes. On trucks, the brake pads are separated from the wheel and held apart by air pressure. In this case, when the air line broke, the brake pads contracted, causing the tire to stop spinning.

August 11, 2009 - 1:03pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, roundabout, Oak Street.


I happened to catch this truck going through the roundabout this morning, and the driver seemed to make it through just fine. He went, though, only half way onto the brick area.

As you can see, he's tilted a bit, so one of my questions is -- doesn't the DOT plan to level the asphalt with the bricks? My assumption was yes, but the sides of the curbs are bevele -- as if they're meant to be driven on -- leaving the asphalt inches below the bricks.

It was clear from the tire marks on the bricks that many drivers have discovered that it's OK to drive on the red roadway.

June 30, 2009 - 12:15am
posted by Michael T. Johnston in construction, roundabout, Oak Street, Route 98.

I recently heared a rumor that Oak Street will be going from a road that is two lanes each way, to a road that is only one lane each way. If this is true, this will be a disaster! How is anyone supposed to make a left turn onto Richmond, Allen or LaCrosse with the traffic coming from the other way in one lane? Do we expect everyone behind them to patiently wait for them to turn? This will be a road of disaster and road rage along with backups! Why do we we need parking along both sides of the street? People can park there now but no one does! The developers are beginning to make a mess out of things!

May 21, 2009 - 10:42pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, roundabout.


About 25 people attending a seminar this evening at City Hall on how the new roundabout on Oak Street will work.

Because of another event I attended, I only arrived near the end of the meeting.  Reporter Joanne Beck was there and I'm sure she'll have a full report for the Daily.

The information seemed well received by those who attended. Council member Kathy Briggs said it was very imformative.

Below are two videos. One of Howard McCulloch, roundabout design specialist for the state, discussing how best to navigate a roundabout, and then I shot a few sections of an animation of the Oak Street roundabout with cars going through it. The full, clearer, version of this video will appear on the City's web site within a couple of weeks.

July 23, 2008 - 1:44pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in construction, roads, Walnut Street, roundabout.

Since more than a few folks have taken interest in the proposed roundabout for Walnut Street, we have put together some more information passed on by City Council President Charlie Mallow.

From a press release issued by the city:

The Walnut Street Project will involve the complete removal and reconstruction of the roadway, starting at the south City line and extending north to the Oak Street intersection. A modern roundabout will be installed at the Pearl/Franklin/South Main intersection. Additional infrastructure upgrades will include the replacement of curbing, the City of Batavia’s water main, sidewalks, driveway aprons, drainage structures, and street lighting. In addition, stabilization of the Tonawanda Creek stream bank, as well as a variety of landscaping improvements will be included in the project’s scope.

In preparing their construction schedule, CATCO has chosen to compress the roundabout and major street reconstruction work into the 2009 season.

Work that will be performed this year will include: utility relocation, drainage improvements, water main replacement, stream bank stabilization, railroad crossing replacement, building demolition.

City Manager Jason Molino says in the release that CATCO has split up the work over the two seasons to "minimize disruptions to the normal traffic flow ... and most importantly, lessen the project's impact on local residents."

The Batavian left a message for Molino to find out how postponing the major work until next year will "minimize disruptions" — wouldn't two years of work be more disruptive than finishing the project in a single season, for instance. We also plan to ask Molino how the project originated and was approved by City Council as there seems to have been some opposition to the roundabout, as noted in a survey conducted by the Batavia Area Jaycees in 2007. What was most shocking about the results of the survey was that many people did not even seem to know about the project.

The City plans to hold a public information meeting in February 2009 to review the construction schedule, work phasing, and proposed detours with local residents. The exact time and location of this meeting will be provided at a later date.  The City will also distribute project informational flyers to local residents on a quarterly basis.

If you have questions about the project, there are a few people you can contact:

  • Sally Kuzon, assistant city manager: (585) 345-6325
  • Larry Klotzbach, project engineer: (585) 259-0506
  • Dave Curtis, project superintendent: (716) 481-0571

UPDATE: City Council President Charlie Mallow notified The Batavian that, in fact, several public meetings were held about the construction of the roundabout, several stories about it appeard in the Daily News, and nobody contacted him or the council to voice their opposition to the project.

I have never received a negative phone call or any interaction that I can conclude as being negative towards going forward with a roundabout. In fact, its the opposite, people on Walnut want to know when they are getting their promised repairs. There was no opposition that I am aware of at all. People in the area are rightly concerned about timetables and how they are going to live and run their businesses in a construction site. All of that is being worked out and will be worked out before the work has started.

I must admit that I was a little surprised to hear that people disliked the idea of a roundabout. I am not a native of Batavia, and the first few times I drove down Oak Street to get through to Pearl Street, I was quite confused on how to maneuver the street connections there. What about you? Will you be glad to see a roundabout?

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