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Twice around for Five Corners [video]

Study finished on Rotterdam’s inefficient intersection, costly roundabouts suggested

Dual roundabouts are proposed as a way to improve traffic flow at Five Corners in Rotterdam. As seen here, the roundabouts would fall on top of existing gas stations, and the town would have to purchase the property.

Dual roundabouts are proposed as a way to improve traffic flow at Five Corners in Rotterdam. As seen here, the roundabouts would fall on top of existing gas stations, and the town would have to purchase the property.

— A plan has been solidified to install dual roundabouts at the congested Five Corners intersection, but a high price tag means it probably won’t be realized anytime soon.

The Rotterdam Town Board on Wednesday, Jan. 11, heard the findings of the Five Corners Transportation and Land Use Linkage Study undertaken by BFJ Planning, based out of New York City. The goal of the study was to develop a plan to revitalize the town center so it could become “healthy and vibrant.”

Areas around the Five Corners were also evaluated in hopes of increasing traffic flow efficiency and pedestrian safety. Two alternatives were presented to achieve this goal, but both require obtaining the property of two existing gas stations.

Town Planner Peter Comenzo said residents are more than familiar with the frustrations associated with the busy intersection.

“Everybody that lives in the Town of Rotterdam is aware of the issues that we have with transportation in the Five Corners,” Comenzo said. “It is a very difficult area to traverse, both with vehicles and bicycles, and also pedestrians, so we embarked on this study … to look at this area and get a professional planning outfit in to get a fresh set of eyes and take a look at this area.”

photo

Courtesy of BFJ Planning

An artist’s sketch of what a beautification plan for Five Corners in Rotterdam could entail around the proposed dual roundabouts.

The double roundabout concept was cited as the best alternative. The second alternative was for the town to widen the adjoining roadways while creating sidewalks, bicycle lanes and landscaping. Both projects were estimated to cost from $5 to $10 million, with right of way acquisition and possible soil clean up at gas stations being the largest expenses.

Traffic issues at the Five Corners have remained largely unchanged for over 40 years. There are six approaches to the intersection.

“You have tremendous inefficiency, the traffic light has to have three phases, there is a lot of dead time when the car is stalled … in itself it is a very, very inefficient intersection the way it is,” said Georges Jacquemart of BFJ Planning.

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