A new Traffic Circle or “roundabout” constructed to aid traffic flow with the construction of a new Elementary and Middle School for the Cumberland Valley School District. The goal of this roundabout would be to ease traffic congestion and simplify access to the new campus.
Cumberland Valley School District was master planning a new 120 acre site for a new 850 student Elementary School and a new 1,450 student Middle School. Township officials requested that a light be installed at the intersection of a township and state road on the east side of the campus, as almost all bus traffic would exit from that side of the campus. Being a state road, a PennDOT-compliant traffic study was completed and indicated that the intersection did not warrant a light. To meet the new traffic needs created by the new Schools, PennDOT strongly recommended a roundabout. With the roundabout complete and more than 2100 students arriving and departing from the campus in buses and private vehicles, everyone was pleased as the roundabout proved to be both a safe and an efficient egress to and from campus.
Mike Willis the Chief Financial and Operations Officer for the District stated, “While, at first, the board and administration were skeptical about installing a roundabout (traffic circle), the benefits were evident on the day we opened our new schools to buses and parent traffic. The impact to traffic flow, along with an apparent improvement in safety, proved the district make the right decision.”
Traffic Roundabouts are currently being utilized throughout Pennsylvania to solve many traffic congestion situations that may not warrant a Traffic light. Certainly, the integration in a School Campus is a new and creative solution which greatly aids the traffic and bus flow during the busy beginning and ending to school days. Based on the success of the current roundabout, Cumberland Valley School District would likely consider the use of roundabouts as a traffic management tool both on its campuses and adjacent roads.