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Red Bluff City Council considering roundabout on South Main Street

City Council will make a decision on creating a roundabout or making improvements to the traffic signal on South Main Street and the I-5 northbound ramps.

Posted: Sep 7, 2021 6:41 PM

RED BLUFF, Calif. - A roundabout is in the works for the City of Red Bluff where South Main Street and the I-5 northbound ramps meet.

Some people think that putting a roundabout at this location right here could improve safety, but others are concerned that it could be incredibly confusing for some people.

"It’s terrible there,” Mari Karakas, who makes the drive from her home in Gerber to Red Bluff often said. "It would be another hurdle that we don't need with all the traffic."

Andrea Berg lives in Red Bluff and thinks a roundabout could help.

"I've driven through so many of them and they are not a big deal,” Berg said. “I think they are better."

Council will be presented the proposal at their meeting tonight.

"I think most importantly it is going to cut down on fatalities and accidents,” Mayor Pro Tem for the City of Red Bluff Clay Parker said. 

A Federal Highway Administration study found that roundabouts reduce deaths by more than 90%, injuries by 76%, and crashes by more than a third.

Still, some people told Action News Now they would rather see road improvements and better-drawn lines instead of a new roundabout.

"We have potholes, they are not wide enough,” Karakas said.

Caltrans will be paying for the roundabout, so nothing will be coming out of the city’s pockets. Councilmembers told Action News Now that they are actively working on other city road improvements.

“We’re finally at a point where people will start to finally see improvements to our roadways here in the City of Red Bluff,” Parker said.

Red Bluff City Councilmember Daniele Eyestone raised concern over how it could be hard for people to adjust to a roundabout.

“I have a personal fear for our old people trying to make it to the hospital,” Eyestone said. “I know that I personally like them, but I know how to use them.”

Council is also considering making improvements to the existing light instead of creating the roundabout, but some still think a roundabout would be a better option.

"I think you will find out that the traffic flow will improve because you don't have to sit at the light,” Parker said. “You don't have to sit through all the directions of travel."

After tonight’s meeting, the next step is for the council to write a letter to Caltrans either in support of the roundabout or in support of updates to the traffic signal.

"I think they are easy to learn and navigate if people take the time to learn it,” Berg said. “I think they are way better than stoplights."

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