BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – A new traffic pattern has come to a congested intersection.
Mahoning County’s first roundabout at Mathews Road and Sheridan Road opened Wednesday after a 10 a.m. ribbon cutting ceremony. A school bus took the ceremonial spin through the roundabout before it officially opened to drivers.
“I like it. I’ve been on quite a few roundabouts and they work if the people make them work,” Bernie Blasko of Boardman said.
Drivers are taking their time navigating their way through it.
Motorists have to slow down to get into the roundabout and when they are in it, they yield to traffic. The roundabout is designed to help with traffic flow and reduce traffic jams.
“You’re not going to have the backups. You’re not going to have people trying to beat the yellow light or red light to get their turn. You’re not going to have the congestion you normally see at a standard four-way intersection,” Mahoning County engineer Patrick Ginnetti said.
Some drivers our news crew talked to on Wednesday said they see the roundabout as good thing, while others are not sure it’s the right fix. But everyone agrees it is going to take time getting used to it.
“I used to go to Clearwater Beach all the time and they have a big circle right on the beach within 100 yards of the beach and it works there, got to work here,” Joe Polak of Boardman said.
“I just think there is a lot of people that are not going to know what they are doing over there. There is still going to be issues. We’ll see. Time will tell,” Jennifer Young of Boardman said.
Homeowners who live right by the roundabout are glad construction is finally over. Pat Johnston can finally park in her driveway again.
Ginnetti said the project created some grading issues, and storm sewers have been put in Johnston’s yard to prevent flooding.
Her son is concerned about leaves clogging the catch basins. But project engineer Matt Burger said that won’t be a problem.
“No concern at all. The structure box is fairly large. Any leaves that do get in there are just going to get swept right through the pipe into the main trunk line,” Burger said.
There has been talk about installing a roundabout at the Five Points intersection in Poland. The first step is securing the funding. If it’s approved, an engineering firm will study the intersection and decide what is best.