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Baldwin Park Pilots Roundabout on City’s North Side

The temporary roundabout is located on Maine Avenue, the location of several other mobility and livability projects

12:17 PM PDT on July 19, 2023

A temporary roundabout has been installed at the intersection of Maine and Olive Avenues in Baldwin Park (Photo: ActiveSGV)

Baldwin Park’s Maine Avenue became the site of another complete streets pop-up project this past Saturday. In addition to the relatively recent bike lanes on the street, and the ongoing construction of the Maine Avenue Mini Parkthe city, mobility non-profit ActiveSGV are testing a temporary roundabout at the intersection of Maine and Olive Street for at least three weeks. Residents are encouraged to provide feedback to the city.

[Reporter's note 7/21/23: Why the strikethrough? This week, Baldwin Park City Council voted to remove the demonstration prematurely. The project would have been eligible for SGV Slower Safer Streets support had the City Council allowed the demonstration to remain in place a minimum of three weeks.  Deconstruction will begin on July 24th and take 4-5 days to complete.]

There aren’t many roundabouts in the San Gabriel Valley (some can be found in in Pasadena, Azusa, and Pomona). In SoCal car culture, roundabouts do receive some skepticism. Perhaps many people just don’t know how to use them.

ActiveSGV’s Special Programs Director Wes Reutimann says there are three simple rules to follow.

  1. Slow down and give anyone already in the roundabout the right-of-way. 
  2. Yield to any pedestrians crossing the street. 
  3. Signal when exiting so other drivers know when you are leaving the roundabout. 

Reutimann says the rationale for installing roundabouts is proven – literally. The US Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) calls them a ‘Proven Safety Countermeasure.’ Though roundabouts are seen as supporting walking, they offer big safety benefits for drivers. Possible collisions are reduced because there is no perpendicular center for cars to crash in, thereby preventing some broadside, ‘T-bone’ collisions. Without a signal light to catch up to, speeding is reduced, and overall due to the slower pace of roundabouts, the collisions that do happen are generally less violent.

Reutimann adds, “The FHWA estimates that this circular design approach reduces severe and injury crashes by 78% compared to a signalized intersection, and 82% versus a two-way, stop-controlled intersection.” He also notes they require no electricity, and can operate in power outages.

Streetsblog’s San Gabriel Valley coverage is supported by Foothill Transit, offering car-free travel throughout the San Gabriel Valley with connections to the Gold Line Stations across the Foothills and Commuter Express lines traveling into the heart of downtown L.A. To plan your trip, visit Foothill Transit. “Foothill Transit. Going Good Places.”Sign-up for our SGV Connect Newsletter, coming to your inbox on Fridays!

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