Lovers Lane and Fort Steuben Drive Roundabout

                    Lovers Lane Roundabout                    Source: Em-Media Inc

Mission accomplished! Drivers are successfully navigating the new $1.4M modern roundabout at Lovers Lane and Fort Steuben Drive in Steubenville, which was completed in July.

The roundabout, the first of its kind in eastern Ohio, was a concern to residents when it was announced, but it has become a part of the landscape so quickly, it’s already updated on Google Maps.

BHJ conducted a number of up-front studies on traffic patterns and incorporated the community’s goals of slowing traffic, providing pedestrian access and preserving private lawns and property in plans and traffic models. The result was the successful construction of the roundabout, Phase 1 of planning and partnership between the City of Steubenville and the BHJ.

Together, the city and the BHJ (the region’s metropolitan planning organization) were able to create a 10-year plan that put the MPO’s federal dollars to use, leveraged by local funding for environmental studies.In addition to being a funnel for federal highway dollars, BHJ acts as locally to monitor traffic flow and issues, including conducting traffic counts and monitoring safety issues and pavement conditions. All of this data is reported back to the Ohio Department of Transportation.

Lovers Lane, built in the 1920s, was not expected to receive the amount of traffic it sees today, and the partnership between BHJ and the City required that both parties approve a three phase long range plan that will address issues at intersections and widen the road itself.

Phase 1, the modern roundabout intersection at Lovers Lane and Fort Steuben Drive, requires drivers to simply yield to oncoming traffic instead of making a complete stop, as drivers do at a traditional traffic light. This helps traffic to move more smoothly, reducing stop-and-go behavior that contributes to traffic congestion.

The geometry of the roundabout forces drivers to use slower rates of speeds, which achieves the community goal of traffic moving more slowly through the neighborhood. In addition, roundabouts greatly reduce the amount of potential contact points and as a result virtually eliminate head on and right angle collisions.

Bids for the second phase of the project, the intersection of Lovers Lane and Sunset Boulevard (nope, not a roundabout!)  will go out next summer. The third phase, the widening of the 19-foot Lovers Lane, may begin after 2020.

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Here is a video provided by the Federal Highway Association explaining the benefits of roundabouts: