The purpose of the roundabout project is to improve traffic patterns at the existing interchange of US 22 (Montgomery Road) and SR 126 (Ronald Reagan Cross County Highway) and along US 22 north of the interchange.
The City of Montgomery plans to redevelop the currently vacant area with office, retail, hotel, and residential uses that will require multiple access points along US 22 north of the interchange. The project will extend downtown Montgomery to the new intersection by providing a pedestrian-friendly environment.
The Rules of Roundabouts
When driving a roundabout:
- Slow down when approaching a roundabout.
- Observe signs and pavement markings.
- Choose your lane before entering the roundabout based on the direction you would like to travel (just like a traditional signalized intersection).
- Yield to traffic in ALL lanes to your left before entering.
- Stay in your lane until your exit. Do not change lanes in the roundabout. Do not stop in the roundabout.
Here are a couple of other things to keep in mind when driving in a multi-lane roundabout.
- You want to be in the right lane to turn right or go straight.
- You want to be in the left lane if you’re going to go straight, turn left, or do a U-turn.
To avoid a sideswipe collision, it is imperative that if you are in the right lane (outside lane) of the roundabout that you go right or straight (not left or around the roundabout) as you will conflict with the inside lane. You should choose the appropriate lane before entering the roundabout and proceed through the roundabout in the direction you have chosen.
It is important to remember large vehicles need more space in a roundabout. Avoid driving next to or passing large vehicles. Sometimes large trucks need both lanes to turn in the circle. They may even need to truck aprons to make a tight turn.
How did the City decide the existing interchange should be removed?
City Council’s vision for this site originated with the 2006-2011 Strategic Plan. The idea of expanding the project development area into the county-owned property and create a roundabout is attractive to City Council and staff for several reasons. First, it is important to look at the City from a long range, big picture point of view. Montgomery is primarily a residential community that historically has depended on a few large employers to provide the earnings tax that pays for our operations. Approximately 65% of the City’s general fund comes from earnings tax revenues. Montgomery only has three large employers: Bethesda North Hospital, Sycamore Community Schools, and Ohio National Financial Services. To ensure the City can continue the high level of service currently provided to our residents and cover the ever-increasing cost of these services, it is critical to diversify and expand our revenue base. As Montgomery is essentially built out, the only way to accomplish this is to annex additional land or redevelop some of our additional residential, or institutional land uses for business uses. Neither of these options is desirable. Therefore Council and staff see the creation of additional land that would be appropriate and attractive for office users as a desirable strategy. Over time, businesses come and go (Cincinnati Eye Institute was a big loss for the City), and the more diversity we have, the more we will be able to weather the storm during uncertain financial times.
Removing the existing interchange also allows better access to the entire site, and can help mitigate the effects of ALL site traffic being pushed on to Montgomery Road.
It is also worth noting that the existing bridge and ramps at this interchange were designed anticipating the future extension of Ronald Reagan Cross County Highway (SR 126) east through Indian Hill, providing better connectivity to the eastern/northeastern Greater Cincinnati communities. This extension was abandoned due to opposition from Indian Hill, but the interchange was never modified to an at-grade intersection, more consistent with urban transportation facilities. In a sense, this project is modifying an interim condition that was never intended to be permanent.
What alternatives were evaluated?
Three primary alternatives were considered, including a roundabout, a traffic signal, and a half diamond interchange (this involves a pair of traffic signals in a configuration similar to that at I-71 and Montgomery Road or I-71 and Pfieffer Road). A half diamond configuration was not analyzed in detail due to the spacing between traffic signals and general incompatibility with proposed GRA development plans.
What criteria were considered when evaluating the alternatives?
There were a number of criteria used to select the roundabout over other intersection alternatives, which included a traffic signal and a half-diamond interchange (two ramps with a traffic signal at each). These criteria included safety, traffic operations, vehicles stacking west towards I-71, the required number of lanes/width of Montgomery Road, impacts to Kennedy Lane and south of Kennedy Lane (outside of the City corporation limit), and access to Hartfield Place. The half diamond interchange was not analyzed in detail due to the challenges associated with achieving proper spacing between traffic signals. Following is a summary of the traffic signal and roundabout alternatives with respect to the criteria listed above.
|Safety||- Has 57 conflict points, including potential conflicts resulting in high energy crashes|
- Requires triple left turn lane, creating a potential for confusion and sideswipe crashes
- Pedestrians need to cross a max. of 5 lanes of traffic at one time
|- Has 28 conflict points, and eliminates potential conflicts resulting in high energy crashes
- Requires dual circulating lanes and three-lane south entry, creating potential for confusion and sideswipe crashes
- Pedestrians need to cross a max. of 2 lanes of traffic at one time
|Queuing towards -I-71||- Queues do not reach I-71 but 95th percentile queue (425 ft) is longer than roundabout||- Queues do not reach I-71 but 95th percentile queue (205 ft) is shorter than signal|
|Width of Montgomery Rd||- 6 lanes plus a median south of intersection|
- 7 lanes north of intersection
|- 5 lanes plus a median south of intersection (5th lane is short turn bay)
- 6 lanes north of intersection
|Impacts south of Kennedy||- Minimum 200 ft of widening for northbound left turn lanes||- No impact except advanced signage|
|Access to Hartfield Pl.||- Restricted to right turn out, must turn around much further south of intersection||- No restrictions and a U-turn is available at the roundabout in congested conditions.|
- Roundabouts in operation or planned for in Southwest Ohio
- Federal Highway Administration
- Ohio Department of Transportation
The environmental review, consultation, and other actions required by applicable Federal environmental laws for this project are being, or have been, carried-out by ODOT pursuant to 23 U.S.C. 327 and a Memorandum of Understanding dated December 11, 2015, and executed by FHWA and ODOT.