Sausville said the town also wants the intersection to stay within the character of the area.
We want 21st century intersections that look nice, he said.
Panichelli said with a roundabout there is opportunity for landscaping, whereas with a traffic signal, there is not. Panichelli said the only thing stopping landscaping from being put in at that intersection is money, noting an established minimum length requirement for medians in order to put in landscaping. Panichelli was not sure there would be enough money to create the structure. Also, maintaining the landscaped areas would be an issue.
A few residents that attended the meeting were worried about a roundabout at the intersection. Jerry Smith who lives on Dunning Street said the intersection would be dangerous in the snow and rain. Panichelli said that was true of all intersections; there was no way to prevent accidents in inclement weather.
Panichelli said the DOT found that accidents are nearly eliminated in intersections with roundabouts. When accidents do occur they involve property damage rather than fatalities, because vehicles are traveling between 15 and 20 mph.
"It's like a parking garage," he said.
Panichelli also clarified the difference between roundabouts and traffic circles. He said the roundabout at the intersection of
Dunning Street and Fox Wander West will be small. It will not be like the circle in Latham, nor will it be able to grow to that size.
"We are not here to try something new," he said. "We know from past projects that roundabouts reduce or eliminate accidents."
Sausville said this project is being funded from various sources including the federal DOT, the state, county and town.
"The intersection will fail in 20 years," Sausville said. "We want to take advantage of the money available and do the improvements now." ""