News

Zeeland Roundabout: open to the public

The highly anticipated Zeeland roundabout and Washington Avenue reconstruction project is now open to the
public.

The scope of this project included a complete street reconstruction along Washington Avenue from
Franklin Street to the west city limits, the inclusion of a roundabout, along with sidewalks, storm water, sanitary
and water infrastructure improvements. The roundabout is located where Washington and Main Avenue merge,
formerly referred to as the “west Y intersection.”

Originally considered in 2009 as a stand-alone project, the inclusion of a roundabout in this year’s reconstruction
of Washington Avenue gained momentum in the City’s 2015 annual Strategic Action Plan.

As the City evaluated the inclusion of a roundabout, safety remained a concern at this intersection. Research
noted 41 accidents at the intersection from 2012 – 2016. 63% of those accidents were the result of a vehicle
trying to make a westbound turn from Main onto Washington. City Council also received public feedback that
the increasing speed of traffic near the intersection had been a growing concern. Construction of the
roundabout will naturally reduce speed and create better sight lines. Finally, as part of this project, the parking
surrounding Captain Sundae has now been enclosed, which means that the vehicles parked at Captain Sundae
will no longer back out directly onto Main or Washington.

Congestion at the Y intersection continued to be cause for concern as well; particularly on Main going
westbound onto Washington. In 2017 existing daily traffic on Washington was 4,500 vehicles. In twenty years,
the projection is 7,000 vehicles. With the inclusion of the roundabout the City projects the level of service at the
intersection will move from a pre-construction level of “C” to a post-construction level of “B” even with the
projected increase in traffic. Additionally, with 8% of the vehicles on Washington being commercial traffic, it is
important that the roundabout accommodate semi-trucks, which the roundabout will do.

Total estimated project costs are $3,801,162. With the inclusion of a roundabout, the project received financial
support via a $600,000 safety grant and $350,000 Category F economic development grant. The City also
received a $760,000 Surface Transportation Program grant.

Roundabouts, in general, are known to have many traffic benefits. The City of Zeeland primarily focused on
safety, operations and aesthetics for the Washington Avenue roundabout.
SAFETY:

Roundabouts reduce vehicle speeds, as well as the number of conflict points. Roundabouts greatly reduce head-
on/left turn and angle type crashes which frequently result in serious or fatal injuries.

OPERATIONS:
With the use of yield signs instead of stop signs or traffic signals, vehicles are able to enter the roundabout when
there are adequate gaps in the traffic flow. This reduces the number of vehicles which have to stop and also the
time vehicles are stopped. This reduces delays, air pollution and increases the capacity of the intersection.
ASTHETICS:
Roundabouts create an area for communities to provide green space and landscape architecture.
Source: Michigan Department of Transportation
For more information: www.michigan.gov/roundabouts
The City of Zeeland has created a package of informational materials to help educate the community on the
safety benefits of a roundabout and prepare drivers to navigate the new intersection. Please refer to the
enclosed Press Kit and the following video link:

Zeeland Roundabout Instructional Video

As we prepare for the opening of the roundabout next week, we created a quick tutorial to best equip you as you drive through the roundabout. 🚗Biggby ZeelandGentex CorporationZeeland ACE HardwareMain Street Bicycle Company of Zeeland

Posted by Zeeland–Feel the Zeel on Friday, November 15, 2019