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Today: Riverton Rd. Roundabout Meeting

Residents can ask questions about the county project slated for Riverton Road.

County engineers will be on hand Wednesday afternoon during a public information session for residents on the .

“We’re pretty sensitive to the neighbors in this project,” said Ralph Shrom, spokesman for Burlington County. “We’re hoping we can quell some fears about this.”

County officials are proposing a modern roundabout similar to the one on Cinnaminson Avenue near . However, this roundabout would be one lane.

It’s slated for the intersection of Riverton Road, Branch Pike and Parry Road, .

“You’re taking three intersections that are tightly compressed and creating a four-spoke roundabout,” Shrom said.

County officials presented the plan to township committee in January but final approval lies with the freeholders; Riverton Road is a county road.

During that presentation, county officials said they’ve been studying the intersection for more than a decade. If the intersection is left as is, they concluded, traffic and accidents there will never improve.

Modern roundabouts, which are not circles, according to county engineers, show a 35 percent reduction in crashes, a reduction in congestion and are more cost-effective over traffic signals.

“This isn’t the Airport Circle reborn,” Shrom said. “Statistically, and realistically, roundabouts, especially small ones like this, create a traffic-calming effect and yet at the same time, help facilitate flow.”

The plan does involve some property acquisition but details were not available. During the January presentation, officials said some sidewalks or driveways in the area may be affected.

Shrom said the design engineer would also be present at Wednesday’s meeting so residents can ask specific questions about the project.

The public information session will be held from 4 to 7 p.m.,  Wednesday, June 6, at the .

Christina Paciolla (Editor) June 06, 2012 at 02:42 PM
Greg, I'd love to talk to to for a story. Could you email me at christina.paciolla@patch.com.
Aimee June 06, 2012 at 03:28 PM
Christina, While your researching, can you look into the silly comment about someone is going to get killed if they build a roundabout here? This seems highly unlikely given the low speeds needed to navigate one. Might see some minor fender benders but deaths, come on! I would think there is a much better chance getting killed at an intersection with much higher speeds than in a circle. And hearing from the one resident who lives right here, speed and passing on the right seems to be the main problems so wouldn't a roundabout be a permanant solution? After the meeting tonight, please report back with some FACTS, not people's opinions. Thanks
Christina Paciolla (Editor) June 06, 2012 at 03:53 PM
Well, I always report the facts because that's my job as a reporter and editor. However, I do plan on talking to people about their opinions as any good reporter would do. I'm sure there will be some information regarding accidents that I can report. Thanks for the suggestions!
Ric June 06, 2012 at 04:01 PM
Aimee, it does not take a car driving 50 mph to kill a pedestrian. Just getting knocked to the ground and suffer a head injury is enough to kill, especially if the person is a small child. Lowering the speed limit does makes it less likely a person would get killed but is no guarantee there will be no fatalities. A long time ago I witnessed a four year being struck by a car going probably no more than twenty miles an hour.
Ric June 06, 2012 at 04:12 PM
I know of a woman that was killed at that intersection back in '67 so it has been a problem for a longtime. I agree with Mark. I do not know why the county announced the date of the meeting with little warning. Obviously the decision has already been made. They scheduled the meeting at 4 to 7 pm which they know is the worst possible time for people to attend. They do not want our input. This meeting is just to claim that they sought community input. It would be a lot cheaper and more practical to either close off Parry between Riverton and Branch or close off Branch at Riverton.
Aimee June 06, 2012 at 04:20 PM
Thanks Guys and I do realize that deaths can happen at any speed, it just seems from watching those youtube videos that they are greatly reduced in these circles. I also saw that these roundabouts are usually met with great skepticism at first just like what I am reading here but people opinions change to the favorable over time. That is why I cautioned people’s opinions. I guess only time will tell.
Greg Chomicz June 06, 2012 at 04:25 PM
Aimee, a few sign modifications and a little more enforcement are far cheaper than circles or lights. Additionally, I don't think any of the residents affected want this.
Larry June 06, 2012 at 04:41 PM
I agree with the vast majority of your readers that traffic circle in Cinnaminson are a very bad idea. WHY NOT USE THE FUNDS THAT IT TAKES TO PUT IN A TRAFFIC CIRCLE TO REINSTATE OUR POLICE DISPATCHERS? That would be a win-win for police as well as residents. The only losers are the losers who would not get a kickback from contracts to build another foolish wasteful project. The Rutgers University Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation (CAIT) states in the opening paragraph of their report on traffic circle safety that “Traffic circles have been used in the United States since 1905. However, their use has been limited since the 1950’s due to the realization that they worked neither efficiently nor safely (NCHRP- WEB Page).
Karen Milligan June 06, 2012 at 04:41 PM
I suggest that Branch Pike be a dead end cul-de-sac after the (traffic light) intersection at Pomona, just below (South East) of Bergen. Anyone coming from Riverton wanting to use Branch as a short cut, can go North up to Wayne/Pomona traffic light and over to Pomona/Branch traffic light. This maintains the open space, does not require "taking and giving of private property", and is much less of our county tax dollars spent. It will be safer for ingress/egress in Wood park tennis courts and local residents on Bergen and Poets Walk can still get to Riverton via Hunterdon, and can still go N/W on Branch. Residents of that section of Branch will have much safer access/egress to their homes. It will also provide space for a speed trap on Riverton Road.
Aimee June 06, 2012 at 04:42 PM
I totally understand Greg. I mean you and the other two or three homes around this area that will be effected hopefully will have some say. Make sure if the county does go through with this that you guys get some nice landscaping, trees, berms, new driveways, and whatever else you can get out of them. They usually try to take care of the people’s properties they affect so make the best out of it. Good luck
Karen Milligan June 06, 2012 at 04:44 PM
IMHO
Larry June 06, 2012 at 04:59 PM
Rolled curbs work great for 18 wheeled trucks that can't (or don't desire to) make the tight turn radius of a traffic circle. Emergency response units don't do all that well on traffic circles (see Evaluation of Sight Distance and Crash Rates at Roundabouts in the United States by: Michael Angelastro, Ph.D., P.E., PTOE Remington and Vernick Engineers 11 232 Kings Highway East Haddonfield, New Jersey 08003.Email: M_angelastro@yahoo.com Phone: 856-795-9595 John McFadden, Ph.D., P.E., PTOE Safety/Geometric Design Engineer Federal Highway Administration 10 South Howard Street Suite 4000 20 Baltimore, MD 21201 Email: john.mcfadden@dot.gov Yusuf Mehta, Ph.D., P.E. Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering Rowan University 201 Mullica Hill Road 329 Rowan Hall Glassboro, New Jersey 08028 29 Email: mehta@rowan.edu ) One can pick up a good quality traffic light and associated NEMA TS-2 controller for less than 2K. In case the idiots proposing this boondogle are not aware, we don't have all that much excess funding available.
Dr. 08057 June 06, 2012 at 06:26 PM
Larry. Thanks for giving partial information that you thought would help to prove your point but conversely, actually endorses roundabouts….Duh! Next time read the whole report and not just a tidbit selected to try to prove your case. Here is the link if anyone else wants to learn of the benefits of roundabouts over circles. Thanks again Larry! http://cait.rutgers.edu/files/FHWA-NJ-2008-012.pdf
Joseph Gross June 06, 2012 at 07:49 PM
Does a need truly exist? If so, there are several ways to "fix" the intersection. I'd love to know where the statistics come from to show the claimed improvement. They're likely funded by those with a financial stake in the "roundabout" business. Why not at least try speed bumps? They're certainly cheaper, certainly effective, and best of all, if they prove unsatisfactory, just get rid of them and THEN consider a circle. I know speed bumps are not a big, exciting costly project, but they do work. Just spend an hour some busy day and observe the roundabouts at Shop Rite. The near misses must occur every five minutes.
Alyson P Merget June 06, 2012 at 10:11 PM
You are right Joseph. I will go out of my way to avoid that circle every chance I get, because people just don't know how to use it. I go through the Branch Pike/Riverton Rd intersection 4 times every day and have never had a problem. Maybe the residents of Cinnaminson will get to vote on whether or not we really want this. It is our town, after all.
Val June 06, 2012 at 10:30 PM
Christina, As I am guessing this roundabout is probably going to happen. Do you think you could publish something about the rules regarding right of way. I have always heard that the car already in the circle has the right of way. Are there other rules regarding how to navigate a circle?
Ric June 07, 2012 at 12:01 AM
You find youtube videos that show roundabouts being safer? Wow. I couldn't find them. Coukd you post a link here?
Christina Paciolla (Editor) June 07, 2012 at 01:14 AM
Um, I might be able to look that information up but I'm not sure of the exact signage that will be erected inside the roundabout. I know there will be yield signs. I think a simple Google search of motor vehicle rules regarding right of way is easy to find.
Cinna Guy June 07, 2012 at 01:30 AM
The car that is in the circle has the right of way... what else could you possibly want to know about roundabouts? They're not that complicated... In my opinion, 4-way stops are much more complicated than roundabouts, especially because people don't know the car to your right has the right of way.
Larry June 07, 2012 at 11:53 AM
My dear DR08057, Let us try to be more civil in our rebuttals. Statements such as “Duh! Next time read the whole report..” only inflame and are demeaning in nature. This blog is designed as a forum for opinions and not for personal attacks. Adversity is directly proportional to ignorance. As a point of information I did read the entire report and found nothing that actually endorsed the proposed Cinnaminson traffic circle. The report was, for the most part, an explanation of the methodology used to explain, as the title states Operational Improvements at Traffic Circles. The report limits itself to three traffic circles that are far different than that proposed for Cinnaminson. These circles are Collingwood, Brook lawn, and Asbury. My comments were partial because that was all that was required. In fact, if you read my response, you would have realized I was simply making the point that the traffic circle was a tremendous waste of precious resources. You failed to even address the main point that was in capital letters to which even you should have seen. . Conclusion: That traffic circles in Cinnaminson are a very bad idea. They waste precious resources, have marginal impact, increase accidents, impede traffic flow, antagonize local drivers, embellish the pockets of a chosen few, and breed thoughtless rebuttals from out of town readers.
Larry June 07, 2012 at 12:03 PM
Asbury Circle Currently, the NJDOT does not have a proposed alternative design for Asbury Circle. The simulation analysis of the current design showed that the facility is expected to fail within five years during the afternoon peak periods with an assumed 1.5% increase in traffic growth rate. Brook lawn Circle Therefore, commonly used deterministic roundabout (traffic circles) analysis models such as RODEL, aaSIDRA, HCS are not applicable for modeling of these traffic facilities. (conclusions - Page 81) Consequently, the alternative considered by the NJDOT for Brook lawn Circle is not expected to be financially feasible based on the safety and mobility analysis. (Page 67) Motor vehicle crash reports were collected for a three-year period (1998 – 2000) from the Brook lawn Borough Police Department. In the east circle there were 334 accidents total, and 43 of which were injury accidents. These figures show that most of the accidents were due to the negligence of drivers of the concrete islands that are used for channelization, and due to weaving movements within the circle. (Page 53) Again weaving movements required to go around this abomination placed on a perfectly good road. The same result can be achieved by parking a broken school bus in the intersection of Riverton-Moorestown and Parry Roads.
Larry June 07, 2012 at 12:04 PM
General The issues and concerns of the local officials can be listed as follows: 1 High frequency of accidents in/around the circle. 2 Cut-through traffic adds unwanted traffic to residential streets. 3 Maintaining access to the two undeveloped parcels…for economic viability. 4 Severe afternoon congestion…and morning congestion. (Page 55) Let us look a little deeper at what the report did say. Collingwood Circle It is determined that the travel times of vehicles in the current and proposed designs of the circle do not differ significantly. (Page 39) That is to say there was nothing gained by the use of a traffic circle. In fact, at certain times of the day wait times actually increased. From a traffic flow point of view, severe modeling and extensive data are required. It is my sincere hope that adequate data was reviewed in the design of the Cinnaminson traffic circle proposal. My feeling is that the proposal was political rather than driven by traffic planners that found a genuine problem with documented need for resolution at this location.
Dr. 08057 June 07, 2012 at 12:56 PM
Missouri DOT did a great youtube clip explaining how to drive in a roundabout. You can also youtube roundabouts or how roundabouts work to find many others. Check it out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X0RcTWEBtYM
Dr. 08057 June 07, 2012 at 01:07 PM
Larry, We can agree to disagree about your conclusions but that is what makes our country great. I still feel your points are more specific to “circles” and not “roundabouts” because there are very distinct differences such as: reductions in collisions, injury collisions, fatalities, emissions, traffic backups, noise, electrical use, improved aesthetics, etc. When I was in Vail, I loved their roundabout and so did everybody else and it was met with the same level of negativity at first. Improvements will be made to this Cinnaminson intersections and money will be spent either way so why not get the best alternative based on statistical data available which in this case leans to a roundabout. Anyway, I apologize for my condescending “duh” and you were 100% correct to call me out on it. PS: I drive to the office several days a week using this route so even though I live in 08057, that is why I commented. Good Day
Phil June 07, 2012 at 01:35 PM
Larry, this is all funded by the county/state, not by township funds.
Phil June 07, 2012 at 01:38 PM
Larry, the problem with the study Dr. 08057 showed is it is referencing multi-lane circles which when they are a single-lane, are termed roundabouts and much, much smaller. The ones at the Shoppes are probably in between the roundabout designation and the circle one, but I do believe they were necessary to save D&D and the church.
Phil June 07, 2012 at 01:40 PM
Cherry Hill put speed bumps in on a number of roads and it ended up being taken out because the plows destroyed them or the plows were destroyed when they hit them. Emergency Vehicles also do not like them and many depts (not saying ours) have objected to them being placed on arterial roads like Brach/Riverton/Parry are.
Alyson P Merget June 07, 2012 at 03:35 PM
Dr 08057, You seem awful gung ho about this idea. But isn't this an "08077" matter? What have you got to gain by this circle? Just wondering.
Dr. 08057 June 07, 2012 at 04:54 PM
Alison, Respectfully, since this county route is on many people’s daily commute including mine, I think this is a little more than just a 08077 issue. I also have firsthand experience of using single lane roundabouts , especially out Midwest so I wanted to offer some perspective on how typical your type of negative response is but how over time, favorability actually sets in. Finally, as a health care professional, I have attended many seminars on vehicular trauma and several on the benefits highway engineering and safety enhancements like single lane roundabouts have on minimizing trauma and injuries to both pedestrians and vehicle occupants. I was just trying to offer some useful knowledge but to answer your question; I personally have nothing to gain if a roundabout goes here or it doesn’t. What we all have to gain is safer roadways.
Alyson P Merget June 07, 2012 at 06:12 PM
Also with respect, drivers in the Midwest must know more about driving in these circles than the ones in NJ. All I can refer to is the experiences I have had here in NJ and my experience has been that those things are just accidents waiting to happen. Either people don't know how to maneuver them properly or they just don't care. Like I said earlier, if I can avoid the one on Cinna Ave - I do, even if it takes me out of my way. I'd rather get home safely than get hit by some knucklehead trying to make a left into Dominos from the Rte 130 side, which I have seen on three seperate occassions! Or by the driver who thinks its all one lane and he/she can turn right into Shop Rite from the inside lane, which I have seen more times than I can count. That circle has been here long enough for all of us to know how to use! It just doesn't work... at least not here...IMHO.

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