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Traffic passes through the intersection of Northwest Garden Valley Road and Melrose Road in Roseburg in 2019. Douglas County’s proposed 20-year transportation system plan calls for a roundabout to be installed here to improve safety at the intersection.

A roundabout at the intersection of Melrose Road and Northwest Garden Valley Road that might save lives.

Pedestrians walking along new sidewalks next to new 6-foot bicycle paths in unincorporated towns like Green or Glide.

These are among the improvements Douglas County planners hope to see in the next 20 years.

Exactly what improvements should be made, and where, is the subject of a 20-year transportation system plan that’s being created now with online input from the public.

The county’s current plan dates to 1998.

Planning Director Joshua Shaklee said 40 people have commented on maps of the proposals and 20 completed a survey. He said he’d like to see double that, or more, by the end of the month.

The comments so far have indicated strong support for safety improvements that make it easier to walk, bike and roll along roadways throughout the county.

Accommodating all three types of travel makes a roadway “multimodal,” and there’s been a real shift in focus at the state level toward that type of roadway, too, Shaklee said.

The new proposal also considers areas where safety is a concern.

“One of the things that’s come up in the comments again and again is Melrose Road and Garden Valley, where there are frequent crashes and some fatalities over the years, so it’s kind of a hotpot and we developed some solutions for that,” he said.

Several commenters have been positive about the roundabout proposed for that intersection.

“A roundabout for Garden Valley/Melrose is a fantastic idea. Safe, efficient, attractive. Very pleased with this plan,” said one commenter.

Shaklee said the county also received a cluster of comments suggesting connecting Glide and Swiftwater through the creation of a multi-use path for bicyclists and pedestrians.

“I propose a multiuse path from Glide to Swiftwater to improve safety of both pedestrians and logging truck drivers. It would be great to feel safe walking, biking, or running in our great community,” one commenter said.

Improvements to intersections along Carnes Road in Green would include a new signal, changes to turn lanes and timing a signal to protect people turning left.

In addition to the multi-lane roundabout at Melrose Road and Garden Valley, a roundabout is also proposed for Brockway Road at Highway 42.

Safety improvements for students traveling to school are proposed around Glide High School, Days Creek Charter School and Melrose Elementary School.

Widened shoulders on Little River Road and Lookingglass Road and a speed zone on part of Nonpareil Road are also proposed.

While incorporated cities are tasked with developing their own transportation plans, there are several areas in the county that feel like cities but aren’t. Improvements for bicyclists and people traveling on foot are proposed in those places — Green, Tri City, Glide, Shady, Winchester Bay, Dillard and Gardiner.

Proposed improvements include 6-foot bike lanes and sidewalks along both sides of arterial streets, and along one side for collector streets.

More information and a link to the online open house presentation and survey can be found at DouglasCountytsp.org.

Maps are included as part of the open house, indicating where changes are proposed. Open house participants can comment on the maps themselves or in a separate section labeled “Share your Feedback.”

Posters will also be up in the community where people can comment. One may soon be set up at Umpqua Community College, and one for Spanish speakers is already up at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Roseburg.

Comments will be collected through Dec. 31.

Reporter Carisa Cegavske can be reached at ccegavske@nrtoday.com or 541-957-4213.

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Senior Reporter

Carisa Cegavske is the senior reporter for The News-Review. She can be reached at ccegavske@nrtoday.com or 541-957-4213. Follow her on Twitter @carisa_cegavske

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(7) comments

Mike

It's been my experience living in several areas of the country with roundabouts/traffic circles, that the only people who like traffic circles are those people who didn't have to deal with them every day. There are many elected officials who were voted out and traffic engineers who lost their jobs after traffic circles were installed in their communities.

When I moved to New Jersey, over 1/2 of the 150 page DMV drivers manual I studied to get my drivers test was devoted to traffic circles, which are plentiful and hated (along with jug handles) in New Jersey. Most people will find the traffic circle right-of-way laws for cars, bicycles and pedestrians to be confusing along with passing and changing lanes. I'd prefer a good'ol stop light any day.

smedleyb

I grew up in New England with "rotaries". They were no big deal. When I got my driver's license there was no special instructions. Once you knew the etiquette of rotaries you were good. Maybe today's drivers are stupid, I know they are stupid enough to pass on the right.

Mike

It appears things have changed since you grew up in New England.

https://www.mass.gov/doc/drivers-manual/download

smedleyb

Things may have changed or my memory of 56+ years ago that I got my license is not up to snuff. The rules they state in the manual are what I remember as what to do. Either way a rotary was never given a second thought.

I will give you credit Mike to do the research. I do appreciate it on many subjects.

garyd

I would like to see the roundabout at that intersection in my lifetime.

CitizenJoe

Carmel's roundabouts, links:

https://www.carmel.in.gov/department-services/engineering/roundabouts

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/20/climate/roundabouts-climate-emissions-driving.html

CitizenJoe

Roundabouts are great! They save lives, fuel, and time, reduce pollution and more.

The city of Carmel, Indiana is a model for successful use.

They take a bit of learning--as does any good new habit.

There have been some great articles on Carmel/roundabouts, which you can google; I'll post a couple links, which may survive.

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