Roads and Roundabouts

Single Lane Roundabouts Planned For Meadows Place 

What does this mean for The City of Meadows Place?

Construction has started so it means it will be a mess. HDR was selected to do the  the engineering portion of the reconstruction of S. Kirkwood. Asukura Robinson was selected to do the Landscape Design and the contractor selected, (Marcon Construction) and construction begun. The estimated time to complete construction is one year(weather permitting) from Jan. 2, 2019.  Construction started a couple of days late but hopefully enough rain days were figured in to have the project completed in calendar year 2019. 

Why now and Why Roundabouts?

S. Kirkwood is at the end of its life expectancy and is beginning to cost the City a lot of money in maintenance and repair each year and that is why the project was included in the Fort Bend Mobility Bond.  Bottom line, Kirkwood needs to be rebuilt.  Several options were looked, two major engineering studies were completed and the best overall solution, at the same price point as replacing it as it is, was modern roundabouts. 

Modern Roundabouts will be safer, move cars more effectively, cause less pollution and will create a beautiful new buffer that will separate us from Alief/SW Houston. Additionally, they will help make us distinctly Meadows Place and Fort Bend County.

What are they going to look like 

The project was engineered for safety and efficiency by HDR Engineering with the landscaping designed by one of the premier landscape architects in North America – Asukura Robinson.  Working together they have come up with what should be an exciting and beautiful thoroughfare enhancing Meadows Place for both residents and passersby.  The following are a some thoughts on statuary and artist renderings giving an overview of the project as it may look in a few years.  

 

 

 

  

roundabout-deco1 roundabout-deco2 roundabout-deco3 roundabout-deco4

                                                                                                                                  Here are some of the plants and trees that will be used. 

How are we going to pay for it?

Fortunately, most of this is funded thru the Fort Bend Mobility Project. This is a County bond project that is already funded which means it is county tax dollars coming into Meadows Place. By law, these funds have to be used ONLY on the road projects which the voters approved in 2007 and have nothing to do with our annual operating expenses or city taxes.  The City cannot use these funds for other things but if we did not use them to repair this rapidly deteriorating roadway, we would have lost the funding. 

 

What studies say about Roundabouts:

Other Cities:

“Although we did experience some negativity prior to the actual construction, I have heard no complaints since.”

“As a matter of fact, this issue was one of our more controversial topics in town until the roundabouts actually began to operate.”

“Today, I would say the roundabouts are one of our more lauded efforts. Almost everyone is supportive. So much so, that we are constructing three additional roundabouts and the citizens are pressing us for completion dates.”

Federal Highway Administration:

“Roundabouts can be considered for a variety of reasons. The roundabout guide describes categories for selection that range from community enhancement and traffic calming, to safety improvements and operational benefits.”        

Benefits of Roundabouts:

On the Greener Side:

Roundabouts also have environmental and aesthetic appeal. Roundabouts cut vehicle emissions, pollution and fuel consumption by reducing the time drivers sit idling at intersections.

Other:

  • Roundabouts offer significant safety benefits (accidents are typically less frequent and less severe than signalized intersections)
  • Access benefits to adjacent properties are often realized since they provide easy U-turns
  • Smooth traffic operations due to continuous flow…congestion and delay is reduced
  • Traffic calming is provided due to reduced speeds at intersections
  • Lower cost and often less Right-of-Way required when compared to signalized intersection; at high-volume intersections, the roundabouts occupy far less space than the signalized equivalent intersection.
  • Aesthetic opportunities offered from increased landscaping
  • Long term cost savings with less maintenance (depends on landscaping)
  • The roadway will be lighted and this will allow for safer travel
  • New multi-use path and sidewalks will allow for safe pedestrian travel so the pedestrians will not need to walk in the roadway

 

All quotes and additional information on Roundabouts were taken from “Roundabouts: A Way Around Costly Accidents” by Constance Parten

For detailed professional opinion on Roundabouts, please check this link as well. http://www.insurancejournal.com/magazines/southcentral/2000/08/14/features/22640.htm

 

More info:

Helpful Videos:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vsCoI7lERGE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MywmtskFiiI&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y05qGz5B1Wg&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LnT1HXo7p_4&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NO1bi6inF60&feature=related

 

We hope you find this helpful. If you have questions or concerns, please e-mail them to City Hall at: mayor@cityofmeadowsplace.org Thank You!

 

The following links will give you more information.