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SW Bend traffic moving quicker with opening of city’s 42nd roundabout

(Update: adding video, comments from project engineers)

Traffic flows through traffic circle at Columbia Street and Simpson Avenue

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- What once was a four-way stop is now a lot easier to get "a-round." City leaders say the roundabout at SW Simpson Avenue and Columbia Street -- the city's newest traffic circle, which opened Friday afternoon -- will now be safer and more efficient for drivers.

A key reason for the project was to help Bend Fire & Rescue, which has a station nearby.

Deedee Fraley, the city's principal engineer, told NewsChannel 21 on Friday that peak traffic times makes it hard for Bend Fire & Rescue to answer calls quickly.

"Having this roundabout instead of a four way stop, I think they can get through a lot faster," she said.

That's why a Bend fire truck was the ceremonial first vehicle to drive on the roundabout.

Bend's 42nd roundabout is the second new one that's opened this summer.

Fraley says she's happy it's complete.

"Pretty much ecstatic that we're at the finish line," she said.

OSU-Cascades and Bend Park and Rec partnered with the city to build the roundabout. Engineers say it was needed before the area could be developed further.

With OSU-Cascades just up the street, the roundabout will also impact students and staff.

Jarrod Penttila, project manager for OSU-Cascades said, "A number of our students and faculty and staff ride their bicycles to work, and then also some drive."

OSU-Cascades plans to continue expanding its campus, which could add more traffic in the future.

Fraley says the new roundabout wouldn't have been possible without the help from both BPRD and OSU-Cascades.

Learn more:

KTVZ News Team

Comments

20 Comments

  1. I’m not sure why the OSU rep was mentioning cyclists, because roundabouts are one of the most dangerous things about cycling in Bend. He obviously is not a cyclist himself.

      1. Amen to that. Signaling out of a roundabout is required the same as making a turn or lane change. People in Bend treat turn signals as though they are optional.

        1. If you’re worried about turn signals you should probably quit driving. If there’s room for you to smoothly enter the circle without disrupting the flow, then just proceed. I never look at turn signals, it’s just a flashing light and sometimes the car will turn in the same direction of the side where the flashing light is but not always. Never trust or rely on them

        2. What needs to change is people putting their left signal on when going thru the roundabout. You can ONLY GO LEFT until you exit the roundabout, it’s unnecessary.

  2. I like everything about them except, since traffic is no longer held up by lights or a 4 way stop, It makes it almost impossible to make a left turn from a side street onto a main road, because cross traffic is now nonstop.

    1. Been looking for someone who could put turn signals in pants and get them to work. Just hearing reaction as right butt cheek lights up when I’m turning right would be worth it.

  3. I haven’t purchased a new car since 2014 but apparently turn signals are now OPTIONAL equipment on used cars, thus the lack of people utilizing them??????????

  4. Interesting how everyone wants turn signals to be used on roundabouts yet none of you belive anyone when they use their turn signals in the first place. Nobody goes when traffic coming from the left turns on their right signal. They just sit there and stare at the car until it physically starts turning. Traffic circle is no different, you still sit there and stare at the car with the turn signal on until it physically starts its turn. So why use the turn signal? Just do what you always do, stare at me until I start turning.

  5. As long as we are on the subject of turn signals, LISTEN UP PEOPLE! The turn signal is not for you! Your turn signal is to notify the driver BEHIND you that you are going to turn. Throwing your turn signal on as you’re turning or 3 feet before you take a hard right is against the law! Maybe you people forgot but you are supposed to put your signal on at least 150 feet before you turn! If you put your signal on as you turn and get honked at, that’s because you didn’t alert anyone what you were about to do. If you get rear ended, you deserve it.

    1. I’d just add: In a traffic circle, the right-turn signal is also to notify those ENTERING the circle that it’s safe to enter. Though you see hesitation, and rightfully so, until they start making the turn because…

  6. I’m glad they got this roundabout in. I traveled that route regularly for years and since it was not a four-way stop, it was a serious accident waiting to happen. I love the roundabouts as they greatly lessen the chance of a serious accident as you no longer have right-angle collisions that can kill. People here who complain about them should try some of the three-lane roundabouts in the UK.
    https://www.drivingcrawley.co.uk/blog/how-to-deal-with-spiral-roundabouts

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