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INSIDE LOOK: Why a roundabout is coming near Chiles High School

Posted at 5:06 PM, Jun 27, 2024
  • A roundabout is being built near Chiles High School to accommodate for a planned residential development.
  • The new roadway addition is expected to be completed before the school year starts in August.
  • Watch the video to hear from a neighbor with concerns about teens navigating the roundabout:

BROADCAST TRANSCRIPT:

Traffic changes are coming near one of the biggest high schools in our Leon County neighborhoods.

Construction crews are working to build a roundabout on Lawton Chiles Lane.

Mike Manti lives down the street from Chiles High School and says the traffic is intense during the school year.

"It's like a road race," he said. "It's at the end of our street and we can't really leave our street at the start of school, especially at lunch, it's really dangerous. At the end of school, it can be pretty bad too."

He was talking about the cars that line up for school drop off, lunch and pick up on Lawton Chiles Lane.

In a few months, traffic here could look a bit different.

A roundabout is being built here on Lawton Chiles Lane and Rhea Road.

I looked at permits and found the roundabout is being built by a developer that is also working on putting 790 residential units next to Chiles High.

I reached out to Bradford Hills LLC, the group behind the project four times in the last two weeks.

No one has gotten back to me for comment yet, but permits reveal that the roundabout is set to "serve as the eventual main entrance road into the Bradford Hills development."

Research from the Federal Highway Administration shows that roundabouts can reduce crashes and lower injury risk by 75%.

Manti said the roundabout could possibly reduce some reckless driving.

"They run the stop signs around here, I have seen them passing on the wrong side of the road," Manti said. "I think we'll make it work, I am not too concerned about the roundabout."

Others worry it will cause more issues in the area.

SEE OUR REPORTING ON A NEARBY ROUNDABOUT:

Mixed turn signals: Why some say Bannerman roundabout signs are confusing

Heather Fuselier lives nearby as well and says she notices traffic confusing at other roundabouts, like this one on Bannerman Road.

"I've been in two fender benders in this roundabout and have near misses all the time," Fuselier said.

She worries this new roundabout will create more traffic confusion.

"There's a lot of data that shows roundabouts are more effective for reducing accidents, and I think that's true when it's well done and everyone knows how to use it," Fuselier said. "Teenagers in a roundabout does give me a bit of anxiety."

While Manti said the roundabout could help school traffic, he'll be keeping a close eye on how more housing will impact the commute here.

"Traffic is already pretty bad and we're just not sure how it's going to turn out," Manti said.

The construction of the new roundabout is expected to finish before school starts in August.