Roundabout considered for busy Medford neighborhood

East Medford, Ore. — A busy east Medford intersection could see some improvements next year – including a roundabout. It’s all thanks to the Springbrook Road Improvement Project. One of the biggest components of the proposal includes this intersection here – on Springbrook and Cedar Links.

NBC5 News spoke with several residents that live near the intersection. Almost all said, at certain parts of the day, there’s too much traffic coming through area. Some people can’t get out of their own driveways. To make matters worse, dozens of kids walk through all of this to get to and from school.

That’s why the city is working on a plan to help get this area the help it needs.

“Cedar Links – it can be kind of hectic up there.” said Michael St. Arnold, a frequent driver.

That’s a statement many residents, school officials, and the city of medford can agree with. Especially the Springbrook Road and Cedar Links Drive intersection.

“It warrants a traffic signal,” said Cory Crebbin, director of public works for the City of Medford.

Which is why in October, the city proposed the ‘Springbrook Road Improvement Project.’

“A lot of kids walk on Springbrook along here to go to Kennedy School, and it’s very narrow shoulders and no sidewalks – so this has been an area we’ve wanted to build sidewalks since we did the safe sidewalk program back in 2002,” Crebbin said.

But Crebbin said roundabouts don’t work everywhere.

“We only use modern roundabouts which have very specific geometry,” Crebbin said.

But the city thinks it would be a good fit and a good solution here.

“The numbers actually work for a modern roundabout,” Crebbin said.

‘Modern’ – meaning the roundabout is built at a certain angle that forces drivers to only be able to drive at a certain speed.

“Due to the geometry, if vehicles do collide – if somebody does something unexpected, both vehicles are going in the same direction. So even if roundabouts have the same amount of accidents as a traffic signal – number of severity and injury are much lower,” Crebbin said.

Crebbin, overall, said roundabouts are a safer option than traffic lights.

“You get t-bone, severe injury type crashes at signals. Part of the reason is that people are expecting other people to stop when they have a red light and that doesn’t always happen,” Crebbin said.

And they can be more convenient for drivers.

“At a traffic signal, you wait for no one. When the light turns red, you have to stop even if nobody’s there. A roundabout never makes you stop if nobody’s there,” Crebbin said.

The city still has several stages to go through before any work starts. If all goes as planned, the city said you could start to see some action in this area as early as next summer.

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