Motorists driving along 46th Street in North Topeka may have noticed an excessive number of roundabouts lately.
The street, which was once a straight shot from Highway 75 to Kansas Highway 4, is now furnished with three roundabouts, all within about a mile of each other. The first roundabout, which goes under Highway 75, has been around for years and is logistically the most necessary of the three. It helps control traffic entering and exiting the highway and has made the area much more accessible, even leading to growth in the area.
The second and third roundabouts, which are fairly recent developments, are quite a bit less necessary. The second one is located near Petro Deli, and the third is located down the road near the other entrance to Hunters Ridge.
While neither of these roundabouts appears to serve a major purpose in controlling traffic or making the street safer, the third one in particular seems to be utterly useless. The roundabout only connects to one other road, which leads to the Hunters Ridge area, and while it appears they are adding another road to the south side of 46th Street, there is nothing immediately available that would warrant the construction of a roundabout.
After seeing how obsessed Topeka has become with roundabouts, particularly in North Topeka and in the Washburn Rural area, we’d like to ask the city to stop this madness. Not only have they cost the community a significant amount of money to construct, they have also made navigating Topeka similar to trying to sit in the corner of a round room.
Perhaps we are being a tad bit irate for something so trivial… but honestly, it doesn’t make any sense that you have to turn right when you leave Petro Deli in order to go left. Nor does it make sense to put a roundabout in where a normal road has been working for years.
In other words, if it ain’t broke, don’t throw a roundabout on it.