City Roundabout

Motorists make their way around the Roundabout where North Plum Street intersects with East New Street and Park Avenue Monday, Sep. 23, 2019.

Lancaster city wants to install a permanent roundabout at the intersection of North Plum and East New streets and Park Avenue.

The city installed a makeshift roundabout at the intersection in June and gave itself up to six months to decide whether to make it permanent.

City representatives attended a Northeast Neighbors United meeting Tuesday night where they shared plans to seek a grant that would be used to improve safety at the intersection. The city will present its proposal to the city traffic commission on Nov. 12.

Cindy McCormick, the city’s deputy director of public works, told the group made up mostly of residents who live near the roundabout that the grant would provide funds for bike lanes and bike infrastructure, and that some of the funds could also help improve the intersection.

She said a permanent roundabout would only be built if the city is awarded the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation grant.

McCormick said vehicles have slowed down by 5 mph since the temporary roundabout was installed. She also said there haven’t been any crashes there in the past three months.

About 4,500 motorists travel through the intersection daily.

McCormick said the permanent roundabout would include a concrete island, concrete delineators along North Plum Street, directional arrows and a pedestrian crossing pushed back from where vehicles travel through the traffic-calming measure.

She discussed the results of a survey seeking feedback from residents about the roundabout.

McCormick said about 80 of the 137 responses were from residents who live within a four-block radius of the roundabout.

Forty-nine residents who responded to the survey said they were in favor of keeping the roundabout, while 32 were not. Half of the respondents said they traveled through the intersection several times a week, 38% said they used the intersection daily and 10% said they rarely use it.

The survey was posted on the city’s website and the neighborhood group’s Facebook page for several months.

Karen Gifford, who lives a block west from the intersection in the 700 block of North Shippen Street, said she doesn’t oppose roundabouts, but she doesn’t feel it is a good idea for her neighborhood.

“This intersection just doesn’t seem to me to be appropriate for a roundabout, and I’ve talked to quite a few people that tend to agree with that,” she said.

Andrew Whalen, who lives about three blocks northwest of the intersection in the 500 of block of North Shippen Street, said he appreciates the city’s efforts to address safety concerns.

“Everything the city has done, it’s made us feel safer,” he said.