Round and round they go

Motorists make their way at dusk around the roundabout at the intersection of Llano Estacado Boulevard and Norris Street. (CNJ file photo)

By Tonya Fennell: CNJ staff writer

City officials and residents said the roundabout at Llano Estacado Boulevard and Norris Street has proved a success since it opened to traffic one year ago this month.

Clovis Public Works Director Harry Wang said the project was initially met with skepticism by some officials and residents.

“It is a success in many people’s minds,” Wang said. “I have received no negative comments since it has been built.”

The roundabout was built as a cost-effective option for alleviating congestion and controlling traffic at the busy intersection, according to Wang. The project was funded by state grants.

Faith Christian Family Church, which holds two Sunday morning services, stands at the outer edge of the roundabout. Prior to construction, church representatives unofficially met with the city to discuss traffic problems at the intersection.

Virginia McCreery, Faith Christian Family Church business administrator, said the roundabout has eased congestion.

“It has been a great benefit to us,” McCreery said. “It has evened out traffic flow.”
But the circular intersection with yield control of entering traffic has experienced a few problems.

In April, unforeseen drainage problems arose and an additional $18,000 was required to solve the flooding.

“The drainage work has been completed,” Wang said. “But there may still be some (drainage) issues with heavy rains.”

Five motor vehicle accidents have been reported at the roundabout, according to Clovis Police Department public information officer Lt. Patrick Whitney.

Whitney said ice and snow were contributing factors in the accidents.

While there has been some confusion among motorists attempting to maneuver the roundabout, Wang said he believes unsafe driving is behind the accidents.

“There has been some confusion, but if you follow the signs you won’t get lost in there,” Wang said. “Carelessness, drunkenness and stupidity are the cause of the accidents.”