Roundabout at Allen and Hickory Grove set to open Monday

By Audrey Williams

November 18, 2012 Updated Nov 19, 2012 at 10:31 AM CDT

DUNLAP, Ill -- Motorists near the new Hickory Grove Elementary School will get some relief Monday. The roundabout at the intersection of Allen and Hickory Grove Roads is set to open at noon.

Roundabouts could soon be commonplace in the Heart of Illinois.

First, a roundabout opened this summer in East Peoria's new downtown area. In October, Peoria's first roundabout opened at the intersection of Glen Oak, Pennsylvania and Wayne Streets.

Now, beginning Monday at noon, the intersection of Allen and Hickory Grove Roads will host the latest circular drive.

"They take some getting used to, but they actually do increase the flow of traffic, so it's a good thing. I think we should have more of them around here," said nearby Edelstein resident Bob Raine.

The $1.3 million dollar project was funded by the Dunlap School district. They need to improve the intersection and parts of Hickory Grove Road due to increased traffic and for the safety of the school children.

"For the traffic and stuff that will go up and down this road like in any school zone they have a terrible time slowing people down and I certainly think this roundabout will help that," said Dunlap resident Larry Hallstrom.

Residents on Peoria's northside almost saw another roundabout. In September, the Peoria city council put the brakes on a roundabout at Allen and Alta Roads.

While the city looks into other options for that intersection, Hallstrom said something needs to be done soon.

"With the amount of people that have moved out to this area, ourselves included, that certainly has a high potential for accidents, which do happen," he said.

With three in the area now, chances are you'll likely encounter a roundabout driving around Peoria or East Peoria.

Raine said, "Initially, you'll have some people stopping, afraid to get in, but after they get used to it it will become old hat to them."

Experienced motorists advise others to yield to pedestrians and vehicles already in the roundabout.

Remember to enter to the right, drive counterclockwise and exit to the right, tips to wrap your head around when driving in circles.

If you want to learn more about driving in roundabouts, visit www.ci.peoria.il.us/roundabout.

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