LEAGUE CITY

A roundabout traffic circle is one option civil engineers are considering to improve the League City Parkway and Brittany Lakes Drive intersection, but it’s not the most popular one with residents.

Residents will get another chance today to comment at a second public meeting about proposed improvements at the intersection.

The roundabout isn’t popular with many residents who said it could be too confusing. Other options to control the intersection include traffic signals and adding left turn lanes, according to a Dec. 14, 2017, presentation from North Carolina-based Kimley-Horn and Associates.

Today’s discussion will weigh the pros and cons of all ideas as city staff and the consultants gather more public input, Budget and Project Management Director Angie Steelman said.

League City council approved a $128,000 contract with traffic and civil engineering consultant Kimley-Horn in August 2017. The consulting firm is designing plans for improving the intersection, but first, it’s getting a consensus on a preference from residents and city staff.

The intent is not just to improve the existing traffic flow, but to plan for future growth on the west side of the city, staff said.

A possible traffic light at Fennigan Lane, a less-traveled minor road, and League City Parkway could cause problems for motorists trying to get out of their Fennigan driveways, residents said at the Dec. 14 meeting.

The biggest concern at the Dec. 14 meeting was the timing of the project, Councilman Hank Dugie said. If the city goes with the traffic-light options, residents want both sides done at once to shorten the time they have to live in a construction zone, he said.

Kimley-Horn conducted field observations and collected traffic data and analyzed improvement concepts.

League City Parkway, also known as state Highway 96, is a four-lane road with a dividing median and a 45 mph speed limit.

The city has no existing crosswalks at the intersection and drivers have a hard time seeing oncoming traffic, Kimley-Horn noted in its report.

One option to improve the intersection is shifting League City Parkway for additional left-turn lanes and adding traffic signals. This option would be less expensive than the others, but it would be less efficient, the consultant said.

A second option is covering the drainage ditch on League City Parkway to create left-turn lanes and to also add traffic signals. This option would be more efficient and would make it easier for drivers to see oncoming traffic but it would also be more expensive and take longer to construct, the consultant said.

A third option is the roundabout, a traffic circle requiring limited coverage of the drainage ditch. Entering traffic would yield to other motorists.

A roundabout would improve traffic safety and be aesthetically pleasing, but it would also be the most expensive option and would take the longest to construct, according to the consultant’s study.

Valerie Wells: 409-683-5246; valerie.wells@galvnews.com

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(8) comments

Robert Braeking

Another case of League City council playing sim-city with opm (other peoples money). Brittany Lakes Drive is a minor road serving a minor subdivision. Surely the council should concentrate its efforts on real problems. I wonder who lives in that subdivision and has the ear of the city council????? Hmmm????

Ron Shelby

Give us the cost analysis. 20 years of a regular traffic light cost and routine maintenance (Throw in a hurricane replacement for good measure) versus the construction and maintenance (including landscaping, signs, directional lane painting) of a round-about.

Diane Turski

I vote for left turn lanes and a traffic light. I don't see much evidence of "drive friendly" now, so I wouldn't expect to see more with a round-about.

PD Hyatt

The round about that is over here behind the massive buildup around the HEB seems t work very well and I have not seen anyone who doesn't seem to know how it works or that has had problems driving around it.... Expensive? Really? Not for sure why....

Ron Shelby

PD, its all "time value of money" calculations. To make a good "cost comparison" between both projects you typically project the costs of both projects over the next 10 to 20 years and Present Value those costs. The resulting decision tends to be the cheaper one unless there are other overriding considerations. Roundabouts typically have high upfront costs making it less appealing to the government, but great for the contractor who's chosen to build it. In any case, it would be good to actually see the numbers side by side.

Jose' Boix

Interesting and according to an Internet post: "A roundabout revolution is slowly sweeping the US. The land of the car, where the stop sign and traffic light have ruled for decades, has started to embrace the free-flowing British circular."
The UK has had what they call "roundabouts" for a long time; old technology coming back to the US...

Chuck DiFalco

Ok, roundabouts are very expensive and are darlings of civil engineers who want to be cool, but many people are missing another big disadvantage. Roundabouts don't scale well. The consultants even said so during the previous meeting about this project. Multiply times 10 the current rush hour traffic flow east-west on LC Parkway west of the freeway, those cars will be rolling through the stop signs onto the roundabout, and the cross street cars (from B. Bay and B. Lakes) trying to get on will wait forever because there won't be any gaps. Roundabouts work best when they're "hemmed in" like the one on the north side of Pinnacle Park. A roundabout would be a disaster anywhere on 96.

Ron Shelby

But they do make a LOT of money for the construction companies hired to build them.

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