Mayor Kerckhoff breaks tie on roundabout

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The Raymore City Council discussed the roundabout versus traffic signal issue one more time during their Monday night meeting, ultimately approving a contract for the construction of a roundabout at the intersection of Lucy Webb Road and Dean Avenue.

Ernie Van Hooser made a personal appearance before Council to express his desire for the councilmembers to “take a little more time” and study the roundabout design.

“I’m just asking that you look at the situation and take a little more time with it,” he said.

Van Hooser went on to explain that he believed the roundabout would need to be “big enough and well-enough marked” so drivers could easily navigate through it without difficulty. He also suggested that the City Council either create a public information program about roundabouts, or publicize one if it already exists, so that people can be educated on how to use one properly.

When the unfinished business came before the Council on the agenda, Councilmember Charlene Hubach expressed concerns over the size and unexpected cost increase of the roundabout. She argued that the traffic signal at the intersection of J Highway and 58 Highway handles the traffic well.

Councilmember Kevin Kellogg said he mostly agreed with Hubach, suggesting that Council “step back and go at this a little more slowly.”

On the other side of the debate, Councilmember Ryan Wescoat stated, “Roundabouts are not new to the City of Raymore,” referring to the one found at Recreation Park.

According to Wescoat, the roundabout design was laid out in a parking lot and tested by vehicles. He argued that the intersection is safer with a roundabout, adding that he personally has not heard much opposition.

“To me, the roundabout solves the issue,” he said.

He later added that a traffic signal may be run or ignored, but a roundabout’s design prevents those two driver errors from occurring simply because of the way it is designed. He said that the lower speed limit, 15 miles per hour, results in less damage in the case of an accident.

Also, Wescoat said that roundabouts allow a driver to continue on instead of waiting at a red light when no one else is around.

Councilmember Derek Moorhead said that the present intersection differs than the one at Recreation Park because it is commercial, not residential, and because the speed limit differs.

He also said, “It’s not the roundabout. It’s actually the inexperienced drivers.”

Moorhead expressed the desire to bring the issue back into a work session to work out further questions.

Councilmember Sonja Abdelgawad said, “I think it’s time to move ahead on this.”

Ultimately Council did just that. Although the vote resulted in a 4-4 tie, Mayor Peter Kerckhoff broke the tie and pushed the contract through by voting in its favor.

The contract is with Mega Industries Corporation and will cost $513,553.35. The Council also approved a budget amendment, 6-2, in order to accomplish the roundabout project. The increase in amount budgeted is $106,053.35.

In other business, the City Council approved the first reading for a liquor license for the new Sam’s Club that is coming to Raymore.

For a full agenda and video recording of the meeting, visit http://www.raymore.com.

 

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