Nashville turns to roundabouts to curb speeding, traffic congest - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Nashville turns to roundabouts to curb speeding, traffic congestion

BELLEVUE, TN (WSMV) -

Some of the busiest intersections in Nashville are getting roundabouts to slow down drivers, and one could pop up in your neighborhood.

At Sawyer Brown Road and Todd Preis Drive in Bellevue, a roundabout replacing a four-way stop draws mixed feelings.

“I don’t see traffic moving any faster,” said Joan Moore, co-owner of Home Panache, which sits in a shopping strip at the intersection.

“I’ve heard a lot of back and forth about it. Roundabouts are very successful when they work well,” said Annie Pickard, co-owner of Home Panache. \

Metro Public Works is looking to build more traffic circles around the city to ease congestion and speeding. 

“According to the engineers, if we put a traffic light in, that encourages people to speed through the traffic light,” Metro Vice Mayor and District 22 Councilwoman Sheri Weiner said. “Often times the afternoon backups are all the way back over to Highway 70, so it’s impacting the 70 South traffic.”

Some neighborhoods, like the Nations, don’t have roundabouts, but people who live there want relief and are looking to nonprofits, like Nashville Civic Design Center, for help.

“We’re doing some projects in Elizabeth Park in North Nashville and looking at some opportunities along Buchanan and Jefferson Street for some traffic calming,” said Mike Thompson, project and evaluation coordinator for Nashville Civic Design Center.

Thompson works to install “pop up traffic circles” as a temporary fix.

“Often times you can move these pieces around," Thompson explained. "So for a relatively low cost, you can try out and test different solutions and different strategies for arrangements. Then that can inform the really expensive and permanent installations."

It’s another way to help Nashville neighborhoods with traffic problems find the best solution.

“It’s just a matter of the community getting used to it,” Pickard said.

The Bellevue roundabout will take about a month to install, and city leaders said it won’t take any right-of-way. 

Drivers will soon see roundabouts in other places around the city, including: 

  • Blue Hole Rd and Pettus Road in Antioch
  • 15th Avenue S and Elmwood Avenue
  • Mt. Pisgah Road and Edmondson Pike. 

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