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Carmel roundabouts facing a major change

Proposed changes to add speed zones in entrance and exit of roundabouts.
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Posted at 6:49 PM, Feb 26, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-28 09:43:22-05

CARMEL — The roundabout capital of the world could face some major changes in the months to come.

Carmel City Council at-large member Jeff Worrell is looking to address the complaints brought by pedestrians regarding some of the city’s most trafficked roundabouts.

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Roundabout at Rangeline and Carmel Drive in Carmel

“What I'm hearing from the people that I represent is that it's becoming challenging to always be a pedestrian in a Carmel roundabout,” explained Worrell. “It's time for Carmel to take the lead and look at maybe some remedies or solutions in order to create the next phase of roundabout development.”

Worrrell conducted a survey that received over 1,300 responses from Carmel residents. In the survey, 40% of respondents felt unsafe while crossing the street at a roundabout.

Jordan Kohl moved to Carmel a year ago.

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Bird's eye view of a Carmel roundabout

“I moved here to be able to live car-light,” explained Kohl. “A single car and then be able to bike and walk everywhere else.”

Kohl takes his daughter to school everyday by bike, traveling through roundabouts remain a major concern.

“(Roundabouts) can be very stressful because you have to pay attention,” Kohl said. “I like to make sure that I get eye contact with the driver to know that they see me but on the double lane roundabouts especially and when there's a lot of speed and a lot of traffic people are just too busy trying to pay attention to when they can enter the roundabout and are looking for pedestrians.”

Worrell’s plan will look to put speed limits 250 feet ahead of the roundabouts entry and 250 following the roundabouts exit.

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Carmel's proposed Roundabout Speed Limit zone

“We know from the research that slower speeds means that drivers will make eye contact with pedestrians. And that's what pedestrians want,” shared Worrell.

“If we can take that 250 feet and slow down, we have a better chance of a pedestrian making eye contact with the driver. The driver has more time in order to respond to maybe not just a jogger, but someone in a wheelchair or a mother pushing a baby stroller in the roundabout.”

The plan hasn’t gone into effect yet but Worrell is hopeful the next step will be taken in April.

“In early April, we'd like to have all of our research finished and be able to send it back to full full counsel and either recommend this ordinance or modify it in some way.”