LETTERS TO THE EDITOR - Roundabout discussion revisited


Andrew Pryor struck the right nerve in excessive costs for Myra Road intersection designs at its south end.

The special joint council meeting of Walla Walla and College Place notables and a design firm last July 26 (available via Google) showed seven alternative intersection designs, the final three being roundabouts; single lane, double lane and double lane with a slip lane.

The notes show discussion covered the first four but nothing on the roundabouts. I saw no life-cycle cost analysis.

Roundabouts at Myra and State Route 125 and the Dalles Military Road are the most effective solutions with highest benefits. Eastbound trucks exiting 125 can maintain 20 mph speed entering Myra and readily pull the existing grade.

I have been on a three-year crusade to convert 300,000 of America's most horrific traffic light controlled intersections to roundabouts. Government funds the first 100,000 at $9 million each, the second at $6 million and a third at $4 million if beneficial. America will be a non-stop nation. That is 300,000 contracts for small businesses to bid on including design, Realtors, surveyors, contract prep and administration, traffic flaggers, etc.

I estimate at least 25 jobs for each conversion for 2.5 million jobs per round. Ten percent must be reserved for veterans.

Australia's SIDRA software application predicted these annual fuel savings and emissions reductions using data collected from the Gateway roundabout in Clearwater, Fla. - 579,255 gallons of motor fuel; 17.4 tons of HC; 438.5 tons of CO; 19.3 tons of NOx; 12,409 tons of CO2.

Multiply these numbers by 200,000 intersections - rounds 1 and 2 only (round 3 is a bonus) - that produces these annual results: 115,851,000,000 (billion) gallons of motor fuel saved; avoided emissions equal 3,480,000 (million) tons of HC; 87,700,000 (million) tons of CO; ditto; 3,860,000 (million) tons of NOx; 2,481,800,000 (billion) tons of CO2; and wasted hours sitting; 25,155,800,000 (billion).

Multiply 115,851,000,000 times $3.50 equals $405 billion in people's pockets to buy goods and services. A onetime expenditure for 3 rounds is $18 billion. The payback goes on forever. Now that's a stimulus bill. Voter's note: Lisa Jackson, Ray LaHood and DOE head Chu all turned it down.

This proposal has gone to hundreds of sites without one taker. My representative's D.C. office told me it was my duty to create a groundswell of demand.

The U-B may be the start.

William L. Kelly

Walla Walla


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