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Roundabout

An illustration shows the latest design for a proposed elevated roundabout at the intersection of 14th Street, Old Cheney Road and Warlick Boulevard in southwest Lincoln.

The City Council should proceed with the roundabout at 14th Street, Warlick Boulevard and Old Cheney Road. The redesign will be safer for pedestrians, motorists and cyclists; will reduce traffic during morning and evening drive times; and will lessen flooding on Warlick and in neighborhoods to the south.

I am disappointed to see a last-minute effort to derail this plan. I have lived in the Cripple Creek neighborhood for more than 30 years, and the intersection has been under discussion for at least 25 of those years, as has the South Beltway. The city staff and professional engineers have examined the site in detail. The city has invested significantly in careful planning since 2012.

Most area residents recognize the need for this project. Traffic has grown as new housing developments have sprouted.

Most opposition is a version of not in my backyard. I understand. The back of my house abuts 40th Street. It was great when a cow pasture was our neighbor. We modified our yard with a fence and plantings after 40th Street expanded to multiple lanes. We must all take a larger-picture view of serving the greater public good.

More important than aesthetics, though, is safety. My husband is a cyclist, which makes me hyper-aware of this dangerous spot. The number of vehicle accidents at this interchange -- as reported in the citywide safety study -- is horrifying:

* 18.2 crashes per year at 14th and Old Cheney

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* 8.4 crashes per year at Warlick Boulevard and Old Cheney

* 4.8 crashes per year at 14th and Warlick Boulevard

The continued southward growth of the city make the roundabout essential for health and safety. Postponing or canceling it is simply burying our heads in the sand.

We should proceed with the project to provide the infrastructure necessary for safety, growth and continued vitality for the City of Lincoln.

Margo Young, Lincoln

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