Eagle businesses say roundabout would put downtown safety at risk

Eagle businesses say roundabout would put downtown safety at risk

EAGLE, Idaho (KBOI) - After months of heated debate over a proposed roundabout in downtown Eagle, business owners say they want their city to listen to them.

"We want it to be a friendly place to walk around and bike around, said restaurant owner Naomi Preston. "We don't need a roundabout here"

Preston and other downtown Eagle store and restaurant owners say they've been fighting to stop a round about from coming in as the City of Eagle and the Ada County Highway District have been fighting with each other.

Preston says roundabouts are not safe for pedestrians and cyclists.

"A motorist isn't really going to be thinking about a bicyclist when he's in the roundabout," Preston said. "He's going to be thinking about how to negotiate this roundabout."

"I've always felt good about my kids being able to ride their bikes to my shops or being able to walk to work," said Amy LaJocies, who owns two stores downtown. "But with a roundabout coming, it does worry me that they wouldn't be able to cross the intersection as easily."

LaJocies and Preston both also say the months of road work that would come with putting in the roundabout could kill their shops.

"We'd all be out of business with construction here in about a month," Preston said.

The city council voted in March to go forward with installing the roundabout. But after a multitude of complaints, the mayor's office says it wants to go back on its decision.

A spokesperson for the city told KBOI ACHD says its too late because plans for a roundabout have been finalized. But when KBOI called and talked to ACHD, a spokeswoman said highway planners want to work with the city but aren't clear on what it wants because it keeps changing its mind.

"The city has tried to pass the buck and say 'well this is in ACHD's hands', but it really isn't," Preston said. "What we heard ACHD say in the meeting where they possibly were going to reconsider it, they said 'we're doing what the city of Eagle wants'. So we need to convince city council number one, and then they need to direct ACHD."

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