A small group of protesters held signs on the corner of Seventh and Douty streets on Saturday to protest the roundabout that Hanford City Council approved Dec. 20 to build at the intersection.
“I said let’s leave it as it is,” said Hanford resident and protester Bob Ramos, who also submitted a letter to the editor of the Sentinel expressing his opposition to the change.
Ramos’ concerns about roundabouts, also known as traffic circles, include pedestrian safety and cost. He said he was unsure of the ramifications of having a traffic circle in the city centre, seeing it as an experiment.
Discussions have been ongoing about how to manage traffic in the downtown corridor, with previous proposals including a roundabout along Duty Street at Sixth and Eighth streets in addition to the roundabout at Seventh Street. The council-approved plan calls for stop signs at the intersection of 6th and 8th Streets, and the roundabout will be built on 7th Street.
Movers’ signs read “Don’t Fix What’s Not Broken, Keep the Signals,” “We the People Say No Roundabouts at 7th and Douty Streets,” and “Most Citizens Are Against Our Downtown Roundabout.”
Ramos, who said he was disappointed by council members who voted for projects including the roundabout, said he believed converting nearby streets to one-way streets would still be effective in reducing traffic and saving costs.
John Darpli said he took part in the protest not just because of the circle, but because he was frustrated that the public had not been given enough warning and information about the circle ahead of the parliamentary vote.
“It didn’t bring people,” Dapley said. “If you show up on council, if you follow the agenda, if you go to learning sessions, you’ve probably heard of it. Our whole community has only found out about it in the last two or three months. As a community, do It’s almost too much to make any decisions.”