LQ Cove roundabout draws mixed reaction

Greg Lee, KESQ News Channel 3 & CBS Local 2 Reporter, glee@kesq.com
POSTED: 05:43 PM PDT Jun 27, 2013 

Road construction in the La Quinta cove is causing headaches for some residents. The city is building a roundabout, expected to take about four months and it's drawing a mixed response from people in the area.  "It's very inconvenient because now I have all the traffic on Velasco," said Gustavo Ramirez, who lives nearby.  "Before, it was very quiet traffic going in here."

Crews recently started work on a roundabout at Eisenhower and Calle Sinaloa.  Nestor Olivos lives right by the road work.  He thinks it's a dangerous decision.  "They can't control the speed and when a car is turning, you lost control, hit the brakes, whatever," said Olivos.  "That's when things happen."

However, the city of La Quinta says the roundabout's going in to prevent those things from happening.  "We needed to address the four-way stop that was there," said Timothy Jonasson, the city engineer.  "We had some accidents." 

Residents near the construction point to the roundabout at Jefferson and 52nd Avenue.  Some use it as an example of why the new one will work and others, why it won't. "Because that one has room, this one doesn't have room," said Olivos.  "Something's going to happen right here."

"It moves traffic a lot faster in there," said Ramirez.  "So, I like that idea."

Jonasson says the new roundabout will actually be completely different, smaller and slower, built for a residential area.  All that considered, he still says that most important thing for drivers is to understand how to use them.  "You need to look and see if there's cars inside the roundabout, and you need to yield to those." said Jonasson.  "But, the good news is, if there's no cars in there you don't have to stop."

The roundabout does cost more money than a stop light, each estimated at about $650,000 to $700,000.