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Bill Mocarsky

A Modern Roundabout

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After doing some research on modern roundabouts, I thought of one of Hartfords most confusing intersections.

A modern roundabout at the confluence of Farmington Avenue, Asylum Avenue, Cogswell Street, Asylum Street and Broad Street would replace two closely placed intersections and a "Y" intersection. The widening sea of asphalt where Farmington and Asylum Avenues converge would be gone.

A welcome byproduct of a roundabout at this location would be the aesthetic improvement. It would create possibilities for a gateway to downtown and Asylum Hill.

cogswell.gif

Here is a recap on modern roundabouts.

A modern roundabout (not to be confused with older traffic circles) is a traffic-control method that allows vehicles from separate streets to merge and proceed to destinations without the need for traffic signals. All turns when entering or exiting the roundabout are right turns. Traffic continually flows counterclockwise around a central island while those entering yield.

For the record, Pulaski Circle, which is located on the southeast side of Bushnell Park does not function as a modern roundabout. Traffic in this rotary yields to vehicles entering from the Whitehead Highway.

Roundabouts may be useful in eliminating a pair of closely spaced intersections. Their ability to accommodate high turning volumes make them especially effective at "Y" intersections.

Roundabouts are usually more efficient at keeping traffic in motion. Pollution levels may decrease since there are no signals to cause lines of idling motor vehicles.

Studies have shown that roundabouts are safer than conventional intersections. Traffic approaching is forced to slow down. There is no accelerating to beat the red light. Since all traffic moves in the same direction, there are fewer conflict points. Head on collisions are virtually eliminated.

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What were you thinking for the center? A nice statue? Artwork?

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You could move the existing statue from the intersection of Farmington and Asylum a few feet. The one that was originally built for the Asylum for the Deaf.

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What were you thinking for the center? A nice statue? Artwork?

What do you think?

You could move the existing statue from the intersection of Farmington and Asylum a few feet. The one that was originally built for the Asylum for the Deaf.

The statue of Alice Cogswell? Do you mean in the median of Asylum Street, just outside the circle? That sounds good to me.

I was thinking that the circle itself needs something more substantial.

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A fountain would look great.

Its another great idea Bill. The City of Hartford needs to offer you a job.

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A fountain would look great.

Its another great idea Bill. The City of Hartford needs to offer you a job.

A fountain is an excellent idea. The traffic Circle by the Whitehead Highway is boring and bland, I'd like to avoid something sterile like that.

How about a statue of William Gillette as Sherlocke Holmes? I do like the fountain idea better though...

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Great idea. Roundabouts are very underrated in this area. They often do a very nice job of slowing and distributing traffic though, they are very effective throughout Europe.

One problem I can think of, though, is that part of that area is on a hill, and I don't think a roundabout would work on anything but a flat surface.

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Great idea, I've always thought that roundabouts were underrated. The modern smaller ones help traffic flow and can be visually attractive by having fountains, statues, etc in the center. There are far too many intersections in the Hartford area where we sit too long in traffic when there aren't even any other cars in the area. I found a great website on roundabouts, apparently they're becoming increasingly popular in Colorado and Utah.

http://www.roundaboutsusa.com/

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A fountain is an excellent idea. The traffic Circle by the Whitehead Highway is boring and bland, I'd like to avoid something sterile like that.

How about a statue of William Gillette as Sherlocke Holmes? I do like the fountain idea better though...

I agree, a fountain would look nice there.

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I agree, a fountain would look nice there.

Fountains are designed to draw people in to sit and socialize and relax, they aren't really meant to sit in a place that cannot be accessed, like the middle of a roundabout...

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i like roundabouts when they're done properly... but what's the difference between a modern roundabout and an old traffic circle? i was always under the impression that they're the same thing.

there's some rotaries in new hampshire that are just a beotch to navigate because at some of the intersections, the people entering the circle yield and at others the people in the circle yield. the general rule that i always learned was you yield to people already in the circle. there's a couple big ones on rt 80 at the intersections of 79 and 81 in madison and killingworth respectively (i think).

that intersection that you're thinking of would be a great place for one... i hate that intersection. i always get confused when i get off the highway there.

and i agree... a fountain isn't a great idea for that spot because fountains are usually designed for places where people gather. how about something like powderhouse square in somerville, ma? it's got this round thing in the middle of the circle (the circle is big enough for people to walk on it) that has the names of attractions and arrows (mainly tufts and davis sq). it's kind of a neat thing, but not overly helpful when driving. but the one here could be something you can easily read while driving. the only other thing i would put is some sort of neat piece of artwork or a statue (probably of someone important to CT... twain perhaps?).

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How about a few statues with some Hartford notables? Mark Twain, Harriett Beecher Stowe, William Gillette, Sam Colt, Johnathan Trumbull....

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how about something like powderhouse square in somerville, ma? it's got this round thing in the middle of the circle (the circle is big enough for people to walk on it) that has the names of attractions and arrows (mainly tufts and davis sq). it's kind of a neat thing, but not overly helpful when driving. but the one here could be something you can easily read while driving. the only other thing i would put is some sort of neat piece of artwork or a statue (probably of someone important to CT... twain perhaps?).

How about a few statues with some Hartford notables? Mark Twain, Harriett Beecher Stowe, William Gillette, Sam Colt, Johnathan Trumbull....

Coming from downtown, I could see it as a gateway to the Mark Twain neighborhood.

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how about something like powderhouse square in somerville, ma? it's got this round thing in the middle of the circle (the circle is big enough for people to walk on it) that has the names of attractions and arrows (mainly tufts and davis sq). it's kind of a neat thing, but not overly helpful when driving.

That is where I just moved to!!! I am right on the other side of davis, towards teele.

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Sometime back, I took a picture of the Capitol from the site of this roundabout. I superimposed some ideas over this image to demonstrate what this view might look like if the Capitol (and Bushnell Park) was accessible from Farmington Avenue. If you look carefully, you could see the wall along the Park River.

seanimation2.gif

Moving closer. I stole a sample from an image of the Memorial Arch to build the wall along the river.

seanimation.gif

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If the monument was substantial enough, it would probably be visible from the corner of Trumbull and Asylum Streets.

It would also be visible from the steps of the Capitol.

nwanimation.gif

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Fountains are designed to draw people in to sit and socialize and relax, they aren't really meant to sit in a place that cannot be accessed, like the middle of a roundabout...

Just to the west of this roundabout is an underground garage. I would like to see this block developed above the garage. I am thinking residential or hotel. Would a fountain (outside the circle) work as part of the development?

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The more I think about it, a fountain could work in the middle of the circle too. I believe Mikel was wanting Hartford to be more European, here's your chance. I was in Genoa, Italy last October and they had a few traffic circles with big fountains in the middle. People would just wander across, hang out by the fountain, etc. This intersection may be way too busy for that, but I remember cars zipping all over the place, and people still crossed and got to the fountain to hang....

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The more I think about it, a fountain could work in the middle of the circle too. I believe Mikel was wanting Hartford to be more European, here's your chance. I was in Genoa, Italy last October and they had a few traffic circles with big fountains in the middle. People would just wander across, hang out by the fountain, etc. This intersection may be way too busy for that, but I remember cars zipping all over the place, and people still crossed and got to the fountain to hang....

Those pictures display not a roundabout, and a place with much less traffic. To access any fountain at the intersection of Broad, Asylum, and Farmington, you'd totally be risking your life. The difference is, in Italy they are much smarter about using public transportation and walking... in Hartford, the speeding SUV's make that intersection a very unpleasant place...

BTW nice picture of Genoa. I didn't go to there but would like to. Closest I've been is Milan and Florence. I have a friend in Genoa too.

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I couldn't find a pic of the actual one I was looking for, it is indeed a roundabout... but the pictures I posted are unfortunately not it. That is the type of fountain I would imagine though....

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When you start giving pedestrians access to the center of a roundabout, it ceases to be a roundabout. You would need to put traffic controls in the circle itself and the whole point of a roundabout is that traffic in the circle should not have to stop. At Columbus Circle in New York there is access to the center, but this is accomplished by having traffic lights in the circle itself, stopping traffic to allow pedestrians across crosswalks into the center of the circle.

Columbus Circle LiveLocal

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I thought this was about roundabouts. :huh:

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I thought this was about roundabouts. :huh:

Ah, that's better.

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As a statue in the center of the Rotary how about one of William Gillette as Sherlocke Holmes?

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