LONGMONT — A much-vilified temporary traffic circle on Mountain View Avenue will be ripped up either this week or next, after a 77-year-old man crashed into it Monday.
City officials installed the circle as a “calming device” at the Princeton Street intersection in early February, and said they’d give it six months to see if traffic slowed and adapted to its presence.
Most drivers did, and some still complained.
On Monday, Wayne Ross, 77, careened over the top of the circle in his green Ford Taurus, apparently blinded by the sun.
Ross’ crash was the second since the circle was installed, and traffic engineers decided enough was enough.
City traffic engineer Joe Olson said the Monday afternoon accident was one too many.
Residents had asked the city to test out the circle.
“We’ve heard from a lot of people that it’s just not very visible. We take those comments seriously,” Olson said Tuesday.
“The intent was to slow the traffic down and make the street more livable, but we don’t want to sacrifice safety to do that.”
Wednesday afternoon, Ross’ wife said her husband didn’t see the traffic circle because he was driving west on Mountain View into the setting sun and ran right into the concrete barricades.
Ross was ticketed for careless driving.
Area resident David Buhs came upon Ross’ accident Monday, and stopped to take pictures after ensuring police and firefighters had the situation in hand.
Buhs said many area residents said they hated the traffic circle, but he said he liked it.
“I know they’re used heavily in Europe. They really help traffic flow. I personally think they’re a good way to slow down traffic,” Buhs said.
“If someone could not see that, they should not be driving.”
A second temporary traffic circle at Mountain View Avenue and Vassar will remain, Olson said.
Trevor Hughes can be reached at 303-684-5220, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.