More Hamilton County residents are turning in circles

Carmel may be the hijacked capital of the United States, but other suburbs in Hamilton County are rapidly gaining.

Increasingly, Fishers, Noblesville and Westfield build roundabouts when intersection improvements come due, either due to increased traffic, disrepair, road projects or new developments in the area.

Examples abound throughout the department, where 290 roundabouts have been built or are planned.

The reconstruction of State Route 37 via Fishers will include three roundabout exits. Noblesville is building roundabouts at five intersections as part of its reconstruction of Pleasant Street. Westfield sets up a roundabout at East Street during its widening of State Road 32.

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“With Carmel pushing roundabouts so soon, Hamilton County drivers have gotten used to it, seen they are safe and have become more comfortable and accept to them,” said Noblesville engineer Alison Krupski.

Carmel, which built its first roundabout in 2001, now has 141. Carmel has so many, in fact, that there are only 15 intersections left without one. But Noblesville has 34 with 13 more planned and Westfield has 23 roundabouts with seven in progress.

Fishers has 22 roundabouts but plans to add 32 by 2040. And the suburb recently announced it would build a roundabout at one of its busiest intersections – 96th Street and Allisonville Road – to replace a Michigan left turn.

‘It was time’ :Fishers U-turn to Michigan’s left; upcoming change at 96th street intersection

Mayor Scott Fadness said city engineers determined a two-lane roundabout could handle the 55,000 cars a day crossing the crossing with shorter wait times than a standard intersection. .

City spokeswoman Ashley Elrod said the number of planned roundabouts does not represent a general preference for them over standard intersections, but if the design and traffic conditions are correct they will be taken into account.

“We review each intersection on a case-by-case basis,” Elrod said. “Some make sense to turn into a roundabout, others require a traffic light.”

Because roundabouts generally require more space than traditional intersections, cities sometimes have to acquire private property, but try to avoid doing so.

No private property is to be taken for the 96th Street roundabout as the developer of a planned $98 million mixed-use project at the northwest corner has agreed to donate land near from the intersection so that it can be used for the roundabout.

But the intersection of 96th Street and Allisonville Road, where improvements are planned, will remain a traffic signal even though Fishers has purchased land on the corner that will allow it to widen the streets.

In Noblesville, a roundabout is planned at 146th Street and Allisonville Road. The project, which will be carried out by the Hamilton County Highway Department, will make Allisonville a roundabout that passes under a bridge on 146th Street.

Others read:Big change coming to Allisonville Road and East 146th Street

Noblesville is also planning three roundabouts on busy State Road 32 at River Road, at the junction with SR 38, and at Mill Creek.

Krupski said studies have shown roundabouts can handle high traffic, but one of their underappreciated benefits is that they eliminate waiting at traffic lights when traffic is light.

“Out of peak hours, people don’t like to sit there waiting for the light to change,” she said.

Another advantage is that in business districts, if drivers miss their turn at a store’s parking light, it is easy to turn around at the next roundabout and come back. she declared.

Although the other towns close the gap with Carmel in the number of roundabouts, they are unlikely to match it in roundabout art.

Carmel has sculptures at 12 roundabouts and recently announced plans for four more at 96th Street intersections.

These artworks will be themed “Indiana Classic Cars” and will be placed at the 96th Street roundabouts at Priority Way, Delegates Row, Gray Road and Hazel Deli Parkway.

Call IndyStar reporter John Tuohy at 317-444-6418. Email [email protected] and follow Twitter and Facebook.

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