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Community members ask questions about proposed highway 227 roundabout

Posted at 10:37 PM, Mar 20, 2019

A roundabout could be installed at Highway 227 and Los Ranchos road in San Luis Obispo.

San Luis Obispo County Public Works along with Caltrans District 5 and SLOCOG held a public forum to engage with the public.

The purpose of Wednesday’s meeting was to educate community members about the purpose and design of a roundabout as well as answers questions.

Some of those questions addressed concerns for speed on the roadway, the impact on bicyclists and access to left-hand turns from Crestmont Drive.

This proposed roundabout aims to relieve traffic congestion during morning and evening rush hours.

“It would allow access for all legs of traffic coming in an out of it whereas a traditional signal, the priority goes to the 227 and so the roundabout is a benefit to Los Ranchos itself,” said Cori Marsalek, SLO County project manager.

However, one parent is nervous her teenage drivers won’t be able to turn left out of Crestmont, a street just before the proposed roundabout.

“I just don’t think it’s a simple thought especially for kids to just start going and the traffic is so consistent, I don’t know if there is going to be a break if there is no light,” said Trischa Goodwin, who lives off Crestmont Dr.

SLOCOG authorized a traffic study back in 2015 which found a roundabout would ease traffic better than widening the roads.

The cost of the proposed project from beginning to end is $7 million.

The county says it secured about $1 million in federal and regional funds for the engineering and environmental stages of the project.

“Putting in a roundabout at this location can be completed in five years whereas widening of 227 would take upwards of 15 years,” Marsalek.

A retired Caltrans accident investigator says a roundabout would ease impact if there were to be an accident.

“Collisions that occur are minimized to where they are not fatal,” said Leo Savalin, a retired Caltrans accident investigator.

The soonest we could see construction is 2022.

Marsalek said planning for the construction process is also being mapped out with most of the construction happening during summertime.

“There are ways to stage the construction of a roundabout so that the road does not need to be closed,” said Marsalek.

“As people get to learn them and know them little better they do flow well and it’s not an aggressive intersection,” said Savalin.

This was the first of many public outreach meetings.

The county is now looking to hire a consultant, study the traffic more and incorporate public comment from Wednesday’s meeting.