By Gitzel Puente. CREATED Oct 28, 2013
LA QUINTA - A new roundabout in La Quinta just opened on Friday, and already there's been a car accident.
On Saturday around 3 a.m. police officers responded to a DUI call at the intersection of Eisenhower Drive and Calle Sinaloa, where the new roundabout is located.
The Public Works Director for the City of La Quinta, Tim Jonasson, said the addition of the roundabout does not affect its safety.
"It's unfortunate that somebody's already had an accident with the roundabout, but it points to how we're running this intersection as a four-way stop. Statistically, roundabouts are one of the safest intersection controls that you can put in," explained Jonasson.
According to Jonasson, the roundabout replaced a four-way stop that caused several accidents in the past, and he believes this was safer than installing a traffic light.
Some of the residents in the residential area are concerned the roundabout might not be that safe and fear the car crash on Saturday might be the first accident of many in the future.
"There was about to be another one yesterday. Some guy was speeding and all of a sudden he stopped and the guy behind him was going to crash into him," said Saul Garcia, who has lived in the neighborhood for two years.
Another resident said the roundabout is too narrow, not allowing the cars to make a wider turn. Others said there should be speed bumps to slow some of the fast drivers; however, some actually like the new concept in their neighborhood.
"I think it's good for the city because it's an area with a lot of traffic and people drive fast. The roundabout makes the people slow down and actually stop," said Gabriela Sanchez, adding that drivers have to maintain a 20mph speed.
Another resident agreed saying that all it takes is some time for people to get used to it.
La Quinta has four other roundabouts in bigger areas including on Avenue 52 and Jefferson Street, where cars tend to speed more.
A ribbon-cutting of the new roundabout is scheduled for November 6.