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Merchants Cool To Five-Corners Roundabout in Scarsdale

UPDATE: See attached League of Women Voters consensus statement at end of story.

SCARSDALE, N.Y. – A roundabout for the five-corners intersection? The possibility is under consideration, and has been since 2010.

The confluence of Weaver Street, Heathcote and Wilmot roads and Palmer Avenue has long been a traffic bottleneck, and further construction has the village thinking that a new approach to traffic control might be in order. Creighton Manning Engineering has submitted two reports in 2011, in February and July , detailing studies of other roundabouts in New York communities and looking at the feasibility of a roundabout at five corners.

While the reports are generally favorable for moving ahead with such a project, some Palmer Avenue merchants disagree.

"It's going to cause a commotion," said Jimmy Katechis of Last Licks. "A roundabout would cause more accidents and more confusion. It would be 10 times worse than what traffic usually is during rush hour."

The Creighton Manning Engineering study suggests that accidents of a severe nature might decrease, but total accidents might not. The study did indicate that, at the other four locations, traffic delays were shortened.

But Katechis thinks there's a better way. "If they made it right-on-red after a stop on all sides, it would stop the backups and keep traffic flowing." He said the right lanes back up now because no right-on-reds are allowed. He also pointed to construction at Heathcote and Palmer and said that will add to the problem.

Dean Morretta or Vintology agreed. "It's the only way to go," he said of the right-on-red idea.

According to Village Manager Alfred Gatta, the roundabout is the right answer. "The rounda-bout would considerably improve the flow of traffic at the five corners as depicted in the three studies that have been completed," he said. "Also, pedestrian movement and safety would immeasurably improve along with the aesthetics of the five corners."

But Gatta said not to expect anything to happen in the near future, "mainly due to the lack of available funding at all levels of government.”

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