Letter: No need for new road near new school

At the Nov. 3 town council meeting, the trustees voted to instruct town staff to proceed with the design of the new road to the new elementary school including a roundabout at its intersection with the Sulphur Creek Road. This is not a logical location for a roundabout since it is a simple “tee” intersection.
The reason for building a new street just south of and parallel to existing Ute Road is unclear. If widened and paved, Ute Road would serve the new school very adequately.
Other reasons for staying with existing Ute Road are:
1. Utility relocations would be reduced or eliminated.
2. Conflicts with driveways to houses on the west side would be eliminated.
3. The county building east of Sulphur Creek Road would not end up in an island surrounded by streets on all sides.
4. Better access to the parking lot west of the recreation center would be possible.
5. Little or no land would be taken from the fairgrounds.
6. Plowing snow would be simpler with a conventional intersection.
Since a roundabout does not accommodate pedestrian traffic, crossings for children must be provided beyond the roundabout. These crossings would require signing advising motorists that pedestrians have the right of way. Will this signing adequately protect the kids? With a conventional design all Sulphur Creek Road would be stopped, better ensuring the safety for children.
In order for long-wheelbase school buses and big trucks to successfully negotiate the roundabout, the inside radius must be fairly long, at least 40 feet. Add on a 12-foot lane, five feet for curb and gutter and eight feet for sidewalk means that the outside radius will be at least 65 feet, resulting in a circle 130 feet wide, which is almost half the length of a football field.
Considering that the town is having trouble coming up with sufficient funding, perhaps some rethinking would be appropriate.
Dick Prosence