The Douglas Drive project team reconstructed nearly two miles of Douglas Drive between Medicine Lake Road (County Road 70) and Olson Memorial Highway. This project will create a safer and more efficient road for all users by improving connectivity, traffic flow, pedestrian safety and aesthetics.
The 2016-17 reconstruction project was done in partnership with the City of Golden Valley and the new Douglas Drive features:
- Additional turn lanes
- Improved sidewalks
- Redesigned intersections
- Widened right-of-ways for shoulders and bike lanes
- Relocated utilities
- New streetlights and landscaping
- New roundabouts at Sandburg Lane and Golden Valley Road
The project team will return in 2018 to complete various short-term projects.
What are the benefits of roundabouts?
Roundabouts offer many benefits over intersections controlled by traffic signals or stop signs, and are becoming more prevalent on Hennepin County roads and are growing in popularity.
Some of the ways that roundabouts offer benefits over controlled intersections are that it:
- Lower traffic speeds
- Improves traffic flow by promoting continuous flow of traffic
- Shorter crosswalks for pedestrians and bicyclists
- Increases safety as traffic moves in only one direction, virtually eliminating the possibility for T-bone and head-on collisions
While roundabouts may seem narrow to many drivers, the lane widths are designed to accommodate all types of vehicles including trucks, emergency vehicles, school buses and snow plows.
Why are the center island of roundabout being built up?
The main reason why modern roundabouts have a raised center island is primarily for safety. The raised island keeps the driver's focus on the left line of sight for vehicles, as well as cyclists and pedestrians, when driving into and through the roundabout. It also enhances a driver’s recognition of the upcoming roundabout and island.
More information on the history of the project can be found on the City of Golden Valley website.