14th and Superior roundabout making progress

By: Lauren Fabrizi

It’s been about seven months since the roundabout at 14th and Superior had some of its lanes reduced as a way to improve safety. Mayor Chris Beutler said in a news conference Thursday progress is being made.

“The changes we’ve implemented since last October have reduced both the number of crashes and the severity of crashes at the site,” Beutler said.

The number of crashes has gone down from about 120 (Nov. 2012-Oct. 2013) to about 40 (Oct. 2013-March 2014). That amount is still higher than it was before the roundabout was put in place; however, the crashes are less severe.

The mayor said people forgetting to yield is one of the main reasons why crashes still occur. He encourages drivers to slow down, look to the left and yield to the cars already in the roundabout.

But city officials said the lack of yielding isn’t a problem at other roundabouts in Lincoln.

“I don’t know why that is,” Randy Hoskins, the city’s assistant engineer, said. “Honestly, if we can figure that out, things will continue to work even better.”

Although crashes have lessened, city officials said some people are still unsatisfied. Traffic backs up during the morning and afternoon rush more than it did before the lanes were cut down.

Officials are still pleased with the way things have been going, and have made plans to replace the temporary markings with concrete curbs.

“It’s hard to please everybody, but finding a balance is what we’re trying to do,” Beutler said. “I think we’re getting there.”

Officials said the concrete curbs should be in place by next spring.