By Paul Myers @PaulM_SGN
LINDSAY – Lindsay’s somewhat contentious roundabout at Westwood and Hermosa is a little hung-up on the phone. Well, not quite the phone but a Frontier telephone box.
Things have not quite panned out for the City now that their roundabout is mostly complete. Drivers are managing to navigate the new road feature, despite a large obstruction in the roadway. City manager Bill Zigler said Frontier plans to relocated the telephone box starting June 10, and can be completed in a week. Although, it may take slightly longer. Of course, Lindsay would have rather it been moved nine months ago as they had originally planned.
“We reached out to [Frontier], everyone was contracted at the same time. I don’t know if they changed management or something, but we fell through the cracks…we bugged them and we couldn’t’ have moved them any quicker than they moved,” Zigler said.
In the mean time Zigler said he is not concerned about the cars that are currently driving over the brick and concrete apron of the roundabout. He said it is constructed to make way for semi sized trucks so it can withstand the weight of a regular sized car. As for complaints, Zigler says his office hasn’t fielded any. Albeit he recognized there are some irate drivers venting over social media.
“I have not received calls but it’s a nuisance certainly,” Zigler said.
Frontier customers whose service is linked to the box in the roundabout might be forced to have their service suspended for a period of time. Zigler said if that is the case then customers will receive a notice telling them that it will happen and for an approximate period of time.
The City has maintained their position that a roundabout is a safer and more appropriate option for the intersection than a four-way stop or a stop light. Zigler noted multiple times last year the benefits of roundabouts include fewer injuries, accidents and fatalities. But when it comes to student crossing Zigler noted there needs to be an education effort to help students learn how to cross safely.
Now that the roundabout is in, students have less roadway to traverse, which is a key benefit.
Nonetheless, residents made their voices heard throughout the first half of 2018, opposing the second roundabout on Lindsay’s main thoroughfare.
Last year, Diana Mata, a longtime Lindsay resident, said that she doesn’t understand why they need it and wishes the City would have sold the idea better. Mata added how she felt people at the Jan. 4, 2018 meeting did not come in with an open mind and some responses were fueled by anger. One point she made though was how difficult it is for elderly residents to navigate the current roundabout.
Mata added later on that her mother must go to Exeter to take her medication prescriptions because that is the only route she has to a pharmacy to avoid the roundabout.
Sue Scott, who works part-time at the Taco Bell on Hermosa between Westwood and Highway 65, and has been a Lindsay resident for 13 years, said that she speaks to seniors on a daily basis. She noted last year as well that seniors complained about the first roundabout at Elmwood and Hermosa, saying they find it hard to see cars entering the intersection because they have difficulty adjusting in their seat. Scott added Self-Help Enterprises, who in large part acquired the funding for the roundabout as a part of their 50-unit complex project opposite from Jefferson Elementary, should find another solution.
“I think that if Self-Help wants to honestly help these families they should find another solution…the roundabout is just throwing money there that we don’t need,” Scott said.
Although not everyone spoke in opposition during the Jan. 9, 2018 meeting, some were in favor of the project.
CEO of Self-Help Enterprises Tom Collishaw spoke in support of the roundabout at the intersection. “When we had the opportunity to offer affordable housing…the first thing that was said is we have to deal with the issues of the intersection,” Collishaw said. “From where we sit on this it seems like it makes sense and we support it.”