Rochester, N.Y. – Downtown’s first roundabout is driving some people crazy.
Critics say there are two major issues with the traffic circle at Manhattan Square, Broadway, Court and Broad. Several entries and exits are narrow and appear difficult for buses and large trucks.
“The corner is a little tight for the fire trucks and deliveries. That’s what’s making it a little tough,” said Kumar Soni, owner of Manhattan News.
“The buses, they all drive up on the curb. We watch from the window of our building,” said Nancy Sullivan, who works inside HSBC Plaza.
Another problem is school buses and private vehicles use the roundabout as a pick-up and drop-off point, blocking traffic.
Joy House, manager of HSBC Plaza, said she has a major tenant who is extremely concerned school buses are blocking traffic in the morning, picking children up from the adjacent apartment building.
“We’re having a major problem with school buses,” House said. “The city doesn’t want to take responsibility for this.”
The city reconstructed the intersection at a cost of close to $700,000. The traffic circle’s purpose is to calm traffic and simplify what was a complicated intersection. It also alleviates what had been traffic backups in the HSBC lot. The city expects more traffic in the area in the coming years as Midtown develops.
City Engineer Jim McIntosh said the road width is a pedestrian-friendly 11 feet. He said emergency agencies were consulted. The middle part of the roundabout was designed to be low to the ground so buses and trucks can drive on it.
McIntosh acknowledged school buses and other vehicles stopping in the roundabout are issues. He said it’s against the law and there may be enforcement needed. The city is working with the bus companies to resolve the issue.