RTC planning roundabout near Hunter Lake Elementary

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Updated: 5/20/2014 4:55 pm
RENO, Nev. (KRNV & MyNews4.com) -- If you have kids at Hunter Lake Elementary School or live in that area, you've probably noticed some electronic signs lately. They're advertising a public meeting that RTC is having tonight.

RTC planners want to put a stop to the traffic light at Mayberry and Hunter Lake Drives.

"The traffic signal that exists there is very old," said RTC Project Manager Michele Dennis. "The equipment is outdated."

Instead of replacing it, they're taking a different route and installing a roundabout.

Dennis said it will save them money in the long run and improve your commute right away.

"We've all sat at an intersection where you're waiting forever for the green light," she said. "This intersection is a particularly good example of that because there's several no right turn on red restrictions. That won't be there anymore once the roundabout is in place. There [will] be a continual traffic flow."

Traffic speeds will be closer to those of the school zone just down the block.

"Slower speeds equal less accidents and less severe accidents," Dennis said.

She said the configuration will also make drivers pay closer attention to what is going on around them.

"In a standard intersection people are focused up above at the traffic signal," she said. "In a roundabout the driver is focused [at the] ground level."

Dennis said it will make the intersection safer for pedestrians too.

"The other nice thing is that the crossing distances are considerably shorter for the pedestrian on the roundabout than in the standard intersection," she said.

Amanda McWilliams, principal of Hunter Lake Elementary, said about 70 percent of her students walk to and from school and she's concerned about their safety crossing the roads without a stoplight.

RTC officials said they want to hear the community's concerns so they're having a public meeting tonight from 5-7 p.m. at Hunter Lake Elementary School, 909 Hunter Lake Drive.

McWilliams said she expects a pretty big group of concerned parents to be there.

If you can't make it to the meeting tonight, to find more information or share your opinion, you can contact Michele Dennis at mdennis@rtcwashoe.com.
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