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Circular argument: Transportation officials say roundabouts are a safe solution, but they puzzle some drivers

"We have had a number of fatal accidents at intersections in town prior to roundabouts," said Sausville.

The three new roundabouts being built in Bethlehem are part of a $15 million Slingerlands bypass project that will begin this spring and be completed by the summer of 2008. The roundabouts will be built on Blessing Road, at the intersection of routes 85 and 140 and a third near the turn at Maher Road.

"This project does involve a large part of new roadway," said Van Keuren.

"We are not working with an existing roadway, so we can build everything off to the side," Van Keuren added.

A public information meeting about the Bethlehem roundabouts is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 21, in Town Hall.

"I have seen the presentation and have driven to the roundabouts in Malta," said Bethlehem Supervisor Theresa Egan. "I think they are effective."

Information will be provided for not only drivers but also pedestrians and cyclists who enter roundabouts. The state Department of Transportation also has an entire section dedicated to roundabouts on their Web site.

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