Kinhega Drive Roundabout Opens to Traffic

By: James Buechele; Chris Gros; Kevin Clark Email
By: James Buechele; Chris Gros; Kevin Clark Email
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Updated By: James Buechele
August 14, 2015

A new and much anticipated roundabout opened ahead of schedule in Leon County.

On Kinhega Drive early this morning, drivers were able to use the newly constructed roundabout.

The Kinhega Drive project looks to cut down on traffic accidents and get vehicles in and out of the area quicker.

Angela Runyan owns La Sorelle Salon located near Kinhega Drive. When she came to work Friday she noticed the new traffic pattern. She says the change is welcomed to her and her business.

"I've seen several accidents in the two years that I've been here like four accidents actually. That I've seen witnessed," says Runyan.

The roundabout actually opened up two days earlier than expected but Runyan says drivers are already handling the change.

"I came out today and watched them. It looked like, to me, everybody picked up on the pattern really quickly," says Runyan.

Leon County officials wanted to make sure residents and businesses knew how to handle the new intersection so they passed out flyers to inform drivers on how to use roundabout effectively.

Another newly constructed roundabout that drivers are getting familiar with is located on Gaines Street in College Town.

Officials in Leon County say these intersections where roundabouts are installed see a 90 percent reduction in fatalities.

The county is still planning on hosting a ribbon cutting ceremony on Wednesday August 19th at 10 a.m. That will take place at Z. Bardhi's Italian Cuisine, located next to the roundabout.


Updated By: Kevin Clark
November 14, 2014 5pm

Tallahassee, FL - Nearly 50,000 people live within the 5-mile radius of the construction project on Bannerman Road.

The roundabout there is causing some confusion for some.

"We use Walgreens a lot, and Chick Fil-A, said Janet Dennison who lives in the area. "And since they have changed and added the turnaround, we completely divert it or avoid it, by turning left off of Bradfordville Road."

Bulldozers are currently paving the way for shopping center expansion. The shopping center will include a Capital Regional Urgent Care, along with restaurants and retail shops.

A southbound road leading out of the roundabout will lead to this site. Expected completion is a couple of weeks.

A northbound road will connect Kinhega Drive to Bannerman.

"The idea is to be able to divert some of the traffic off of Thomasville Road," said Claude Walker, CEO of Summit Group. "And keep them on the interior roads, and also provide a straight shot from Bannerman Road to get to Chiles High School."

The goal for the entire shopping center to be completed is Late 2015 or early 2016.


UPDATE:
July 8, 2014
By:Chris Gros

Tallahassee, FL - Today, commissioners voted unanimously to enter a public-private partnership with the developer to construct the roundabout.

Benefits of the contract include shutting down Bannerman road for only 30 days instead of six months. The developer will let the county construct a by-pass road free of charge on their property for drivers to use as the construction goes on. Also, the time to expand Bannerman Road is severely cut down.

"By doing it with us and tying it in with what we're doing in our development it'll move it up ten years. And hopefully within the next 18 months to 24 months the road will be widened all the way past quail common," said Claude Walker of Summit Group Commercial Properties.

It’s estimated Leon County will pay more than $ 873,000 for construction of the by-pass road and roundabout. The by-pass road will be complete in three months’ time and the roundabout in about six weeks.


July 7, 2014
By: Chris Gros

Tallahassee,FL - You could be driving around in circles, very soon.

Leon County Commissioners are expected to make a decision on how a roundabout will be built on Bannerman Road in Tallahassee. The county can enter a public-private agreement with the land developer on the construction. The project would extend Beech Ridge Trail to Bannerman Road where the roundabout will be placed.

Residents of neighboring Killearn Lakes believe other issues need to be addressed.

"So you're bringing more people in to the area but you're not fixing the problem which has existed for some years now which is the widening of Bannerman Road and putting in traffic control devices that would help alleviate some of the congestion that occurs," said Michael Walker of Killearn Lakes.

Officials believe the roundabout will help alleviate that traffic. But some homeowners disagree.

"You just created a bottleneck in one part of town and I don't know if a roundabout is going to help alleviate the problem at least based on the blue print plans that I’ve seen," said Walker.

"For me I can't even get out on this road over here, I have to go down Kinhega and to Thomasville and I can't even get out on Bannerman," said Al Catani

If the agreement between the county and developer is entered Leon County will then coordinate the project to widen Bannerman road.
But some residents feel that's putting the cart before the horse.

Officials estimate it'll cost the county more than $873,000 to build the roundabout and by-pass road.

Tomorrow's public hearing starts at 6:00 p.m. at the county commission chambers.


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