New Roundabout in Eau Claire Opens

By: Phil Dinges Email
By: Phil Dinges Email

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation can check off one roundabout from its 6 year plan. As of Wednesday night, Eau Claire is home to two working roundabouts.

Even though the roundabout at the intersection of Golf and Rudolph just opened Wednesday night, people say they're getting the hang of it. Many of the people we talked to were glad to finally see one at the intersection.

One Eau Claire resident told us "they work beautifully and we've been waiting for some control at this intersection for some time."

The roundabout was constructed because of the large number of traffic crashes at the intersection but not everyone agrees that people won’t fly through the intersection.

William Collins says "I don't think you can slow the traffic down. Not the way they drive here. It's a raceway."

But the Department of Public Works says the roundabout will lower the number of right-angle and head-on crashes and will reduce the severity of a crash.

Collins hopes the department is right. He's lived near the roundabout for three years and says he's seen four serious wrecks at the intersection.

"Hopefully it will. That depends on the people. I feel the roundabout can't do anything. The people don't yield when their supposed to. It's just too bad" says Collins.

Drivers tell us before the roundabout, lines of traffic would get very long waiting to get through the intersection and people would get antsy. The biggest concern was from pedestrians.

One man on a bike ride with his family says "all I’m concerned about tonight (Wednesday night) is how to get across on a bike."

Signs are posted showing which ways people can go and many we talked to were confused about having to walk around the intersection. Everyone we talked to agreed it would take time to get used to, and they will have plenty of chances because the D.O.T says it has about 150 total roundabout projects planned around the state.

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