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Oak Street Improvement Project
The Oak Street Improvement Project consists of the construction of the roundabout at Washington Blvd. and Oak Street; new traffic signals at both Oak & Grant and Oak & Lincoln Streets; Oak Street lane configeration; landscaping improvements; curb/gutter/sidewalk improvements; and a pedestrian mid-block crossing of Oak Street aligned with the stairs to Oak Street from the Civic Center - which will ultimately provide a straight path over a bridge crossing Dry Creek and into Royer Park. The project is expected to be completed in 2014.
Why a roundabout? Roundabouts are becoming a popular way of calming traffic. In fact, they have been successfully used in Europe for decades. They also add character to an area, they provide pedestrian crossings with refuges, accident rates are lower at roundabouts as compared to signalized intersections, and in some cases they actually have a better level-of-service than a traffic signal. Also, as a part of the adoption of the Downtown Specific Plan, the downtown area was designated as a pedestrian district overlay zone. This means the area is exempt from meeting the City's level-of-service policy for moving traffic, and the emphasis is more on calming traffic and creating a sense of place that is more pedestrian friendly and comfortable for people to be in.
In 2011, the City decided to take a closer look at one or more roundabouts in the downtown area, specifically, along Oak Street from Grant to Lincoln. A potential roundabout was evaluated at each of these three intersections: one at Grant, one at Washington, and one at Lincoln. Our interest was primarily twofold: to evaluate what impact the footprint each roundabout would have at each intersection, and to evaluate how well traffic would flow. It was found the most efficient design for this stretch of Oak Street is to have a roundabout at Oak and Washington, and have traffic signals at Oak & Grant and Oak & Lincoln.
On May 2, 2012, the Roseville City Council approved funding to construct a roundabout at the intersection of Oak Street and Washington Blvd. The project was unanimously recommended by the Roseville Transportation Commission on April 17, 2012. The cost of the Oak Street Improvement Project is estimated to be $2.8 million and is funded by a federal grant, traffic impact fees, and local funding.