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West Circle Drive traffic study under way

From staff reports

A firm studying measures to improve road safety on West Circle Drive in southwest Rochester will take input next week from members of the public.

A public meeting is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Dec. 12 at the Olmsted County History Center and Museum, 1195 West Circle Drive S.W. The meeting is scheduled to last three hours.

A study firm, the Howard R. Green Co., was hired by Olmsted County to complete a road safety audit, a study examining ways to improve traffic flow and safety at the intersection of West Circle Drive and Fox Valley Drive.

As part of that study, the firm is seeking public comment on issues and suggested alternatives.

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The study was prompted by Foxcroft-area residents' concerns about traffic speed on West Circle Drive.

Earlier, residents petitioned the county to take several steps to improve traffic safety on the highway between Second Street Southwest and Bamber Valley Road. Among them were things such as installing traffic signals and streetlights, reducing the 45-mph speed limit and installing signs warning motorists they are approaching neighborhood streets that intersect the highway.

So far, study efforts have included collecting information on roadway characteristics, traffic characteristics, safety and congestion levels.

County Engineer Michael Sheehan said Olmsted County has ordered safety audits on other roads in the county and found the results helpful. The audit typically results in a list of recommended short-term and long-term projects to improve safety, he said.

The Dec. 12 meeting will include two short presentations on the study at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. The rest of the meeting will be conducted in an "open house" format.

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