Roundabouts reduce driver’s speed and heighten pedestrian safety, East Main Street project

James Bowling, superintendent of the city of Kent’s engineering department, led the public meeting to discuss the East Main Street traffic circle project. The meeting was held at the Kent United Methodist Church on Tuesday evening.

James Bowling, superintendent of the city of Kent’s engineering department, led the public meeting to discuss the East Main Street traffic circle project. The meeting was held at the Kent United Methodist Church on Tuesday evening.

Liam Morrison Reporter

Speed reduction was addressed at the East Main Street public meeting Tuesday evening.  

 

The city of Kent plans to eliminate the entrance to Terrace Drive on East Main Street to prevent drivers from using the road to cut through the middle of campus. 

 

Some people attending the meeting were worried about drivers cutting through neighborhood roads to avoid East Main Street. Other attendees said there are already drivers that do this and speed. 

 

“We want to enhance the neighborhoods by reducing cut through traffic,” said James Bowling, the superintendent of the city of Kent’s engineering department.

 

This change is integrated with Kent State’s Gateway Master Plan, a 10-year construction plan for Kent State’s campus. The demolition of Terrace Hall, which is located on Terrace Drive, is included in the master plan.

 

The city of Kent plans to build two roundabouts on East Main Street. One will connect to North Willow Street and Haymaker Parkway, and the second traffic circle will connect Overlook Drive and Horning Road.    

 

Bowling said that the roundabouts are built to slow people down and are safer for pedestrians. With roundabouts, pedestrians only have one way to look and can walk on shorter crosswalks. Drivers have fewer directions to pay attention to when using a traffic circle, which helps lower speed. 

 

“The design of the road is so that people drive the speed limit,” Bowling said. 

 

Bowling said a crash reduction rate of 23% per year is estimated once construction is finished. 

 

Construction for East Main Street improvements plan to start in 2025 and finish in 2028. 

 

“The entire goal of this $20 million dollar project is safety,” Bowling said.   

 

Liam Morrison is a reporter. Contact him at [email protected]