Georgia County Government - October 2008 - (Page 83)

Feature The Roundabout Glynn County’s Newest Approach to Traffic Management S elers worldwide. t. Simons Island has a reputation for hypnotizing visitors with what has been called a peaceful feel. This small island is one of the Golden Isles of Georgia, a precious gem not only for Georgians, but for trav- As the popularity and population of the island have grown, so have the traffic concerns and the need for an effective solution. The intersection of Frederica Road and Demere Road was a key area that the Glynn County Board of Commissioners felt would benefit from a different approach. A main island artery, this intersection was often plagued by long waits during peak travel times. After a countywide traffic study resulted in a grade of D for this intersection, the process began to find a solution that would make this point a more efficient, island friendly intersection. The Commission initially considered the possibility of adding multiple lanes to manage the traffic volume; however, with land availability limited on the island, additional lanes were not a possibility. The challenge was to modify the way traffic was managed and to do this with little land availability. In 2005, 31,697 vehicles traveled passed through this intersection daily. It is projected that this number will rise to 38,215 by 2025. Based on this traffic study, the Board of Commissioners made a decision to replace the traffic light with an innovative Aerial view of the roundabout at St. Simon’s Island traffic management tool that is commonly used throughout the world, but less commonly seen in the state of Georgia. A roundabout is an unsignalized, circular intersection that eliminates the use of a traffic light by operating on a yieldto-enter system. Roundabouts are often mistakenly referred to as their popular counterparts, the traffic circle or rotary. The differences are in the design, as roundabouts require traffic entering the circle to yield to traffic that is already moving inside. Roundabouts are lauded for the aesthetic benefits they provide to the look and feel of an intersection. Commissioner Tony Thaw is credited with initiating the idea to explore the benefits a roundabout could provide. Upon taking office in 2002, Thaw was committed to addressing the traffic issues that were plaguing the island. As an island resident and business owner, he had firsthand experience with the traffic jams and long waits other motorists were experiencing. His diagnosis was that the best way to improve the traffic flow was to deal with the major island intersections. “I really saw that the only possible solution to making intersection improvements was to find a way to increase the traffic flow. I felt we needed to focus on the major intersections to do this” says Thaw. “We also had to find a solution that didn’t involve four-laning the roads and that would prevent the cutting of trees.” To handle the volume of traffic at this key island intersection, the decision was made that the roundabout would consist of two lanes. A one lane roundabout had ROUNDABOUTS continued on page 84 OCTOBER 2008 83

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia County Government - October 2008

Georgia County Government - October 2008
President's Message
County Matters
South Georgia's Agricultural Heartland Welcomes Economic Diversity, High-Tech Research
What Do You Know About the State's 2008 Constitutional Amendments?
Union County's New Hope Clinic
Counties and the Law: U.S. Supreme Court Increases Burden on Defending Age Claims
Cyber Security Awareness
Are Animal Control Costs Out of Control?
Dave Wills Joins ACCG Staff
Executive DRIVE is the Pinnacle of Gwinnett's Leadership Institute
Preventative Medical Program Succeeds in Chatham County
DCA's Planning & Quality Growth Office Reveals New Regional Planning Approach
Implementation of Georgia's Security & Immigration Compliance Act
The Roundabout: Glynn County's Newest Approach to Traffic Management
Governor Urges Preparation for Digital TV Transition
The Institute for Georgia Environmental Leadership
Wharton Named Program Director for Georgia Centers for Innovation
Army Ranger Turned Police Officer Attends CDP Training
ACCG Staff Attends National Conference of State Legislatures Summit
ACCG Editor, Forsyth County PIO Garner NACIO Awards
GDEcD News: Tourism Grants; Scan-Tech to Expand
Benefit News: GEBCorp Marks Eight Years of Retirement Benefits
Georgia's Courthouses and the American Renaissance
Extension News: Georgia 4-H Impacts Student Achievement, Leadership
Research Center: Best Methods for Creating Ordinances in Your County
CCAP Corner: Walter F. Rosso, Cusseta-Chattahoochee County
NACo News: Association Sponsors 'Green' Competitions
Beth Bradley Joins ACCG Staff
County Parade
Index of Advertising

Georgia County Government - October 2008