I have become frustrated enough with our city council to sit down and write a letter regarding the proposed traffic signals a few members of the city council seem to think will be needed at the Westmount and State Highway 19 intersection. This is a misconception thinking that traffic signals will solve everything.
A traffic signal will cause backups from Westmount eastward to Highway C/Grand Avenue as well as from Westmount westward to Portage Road. Westbound traffic already backs up from C to nearly Thompson Road.
It is but a short run from C to Westmount, and traffic will certainly be backed up from there to C with traffic signals. Likewise, traffic eastbound from Portage Road to Westmount will also be backed up, making it impossible to enter the Highway 19 from residences, residential roads and businesses directly located on 19 between C and Portage Road.
Add in the signals not being well coordinated to allow traffic flow and one can easily see how stoplights at this intersection will make this all worse.
I would propose the city work with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation to either a) place dedicated turn lanes as the DOT has planned, or b) lobby for a roundabout at this intersection to ensure safe traffic flow. Well-designed roundabouts are easy to navigate and are statistically safer than traffic signals!
A roundabout with a separate right turn lane only and a separate straight to left turn only will help those folks who don’t understand one doesn’t turn left from the right lane in a roundabout. A roundabout will prevent the long traffic backups you will see with traffic signals that do not coordinate to provide good traffic flow.
I implore the citizens of Sun Prairie to voice their opinion and consider the roundabout as a better solution than traffic signals at the Westmount-19 intersection.
As a resident who navigates this section of 19 at least twice daily, and who sees from my business every day the traffic impact during peak hours, a traffic signal will create horrible backups and bottlenecks that will make navigating this section of Highway 19 worse than it already is.
What IS needed is a safe way to keep traffic flowing while allowing safe access and egress from Highway19. A roundabout will allow this to happen.