The Auburn and Main Street Roundabout Still Makes Drivers Nervous

- Well, we asked, and you answered. After yesterday's major crash at Winnebago Corners, we asked you to let us know which intersections in Rockford just aren't safe. And, the winner was...the Auburn and Main Roundabout. Here are just a couple of the responses we received on Facebook:

Shontae wrote: The roundabout on Auburn and Main streets.  It's very dangerous.  People obviously don't understand what yield means.  I use the roundabout everyday to and from work, and it scares me to death.

Cynthia adds: The diameter of the roundabout is too small to support two lanes. People are turning in front of others without time to merge over. 

So, if you're complaining to us, we imagine Rockford city officials are getting an earful as well. Surprisingly, business owners we spoke to, love it. Nevertheless, the city remains committed to going the extra mile, to make drivers feel more comfortable.

The roundabout at Auburn and Main streets isn't a favorite among those who responded to our Facebook question Monday night. 

However, Mike DuPre, the manager of Der Rathskeller, the oldest restaurant in Rockford and located right on the roundabout, says he's glad they built it, "A lot of our customers have said that they do like it. It's a little challenging at first, the first few times they go through it."

But, Dupre believes surviving the challenge is worth it. 

He recalls life before the roundabout, and says it was sort of a mess, "That intersection was at the end of its life...They could only allow one leg of traffic to go at one time."

DuPre isn't the only businessman who likes the roundabout. Peter Perone, a stylist at The Galleon says, "It's fantastic. I think it's fantastic. If the people would pay attention, pay attention to what they're doing, there wouldn't be no accidents."

Perone says people should just follow the rules and everything would go smoothly, "They said yield the right-a-way. People don't pay attention. They go right through everything, and they're going too fast. It's 15 miles per hour. I have seen some of these people go through it at a rate of 30 miles per hour."

Complaints about this roundabout are nothing new to the city's Traffic Engineer, Jeremy Carter.

So, he says they have taken more steps to help drivers, "...To address that we've added additional signage out there telling people to stay in their lanes. We've also added some bright, orange flags to try to make the signs more clear to people so that they pop out."

Carter offers this advice to nervous drivers, "...At the roundabout or the roads of any intersection, be a defensive driver, because you know people don't always follow the rules."

That's good advice, and hopefully it will help drivers navigate the state's only two-lane circle. Carter adds that the majority of the accidents that happen in the roundabout are because of driver error.

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