OU brought engineer Ernie Peters to report on the potential use of roundabouts.
Peters said the focus for roundabouts is on the eastern leg of the Lindsey project. He said a single-lane roundabout would not be as functional at McGee Drive as at other locations. In particular, a single-lane roundabout is recommended for the Berry Road intersection.
Eddie Haas of Freese and Nichols, reporting for the city, showed that roundabouts could work at Berry Road and east of Berry along Lindsey.
Norman has limited access corridors and Haas does not believe traffic will divert all the way over to State Highway 9. Some residential streets might have to absorb the diverted traffic.
Norman’s current land use plan identifies Lindsey Street as an arterial corridor and it will take council action to enact an ordiance to change that land use designation.
“We really have limited corridors that we’re looking at,” Haas said.
Haas showed that both plans — the city’s proposal for four lanes and the IQC proposal for roundabouts and two lanes east of McGee — could work and should increase safety. The roundabouts would result in much slower traffic and delays during peak-use hours.
Lindsey has more than 53 driveways per mile for this corridor, and those contribute to accidents. Both plans would decrease the number of driveways along Lindsey.
The city’s four-lane proposal would likely have a speed limit of 35 miles per hour. The IQC proposal would hope for a 25 mile per hour speed limit but with continuous movement because of the use of the roundabouts.
City staff reported a concern about delayed emergency response times if roundabouts are used, and the city council is taking that concern and others under advisement.
Norman Fire Chief James Fullingim said the fire department will respond, but Norman has a larger land area than most cities with similar populations. What works in Carmel, Ind., may result in slower response times in Norman.