By Megan Wehring
KYLE — More roundabouts could be making their way to city Kyle.
With a 6-1 vote, the Kyle City Council approved an ordinance on first reading last week that would require the consideration of implementing roundabouts in certain intersections. All roundabouts must also be designed and constructed in compliance with national standards.
“It does not require every intersection to be roundabouts,” said Leon Barba, city engineer. “But it gives us the opportunity to look at the subdivisions as they are coming and we need to look at them very carefully to make sure that we determine where we think we need a roundabout. It gives us the authority to do that.”
Developers would need to request a waiver from the city and submit an explanation if they wish not to include a roundabout, Barba explained.
Council member Robert Rizo said the city needs to have specific regulations on constructing roundabouts.
“I’m glad that we are able to put a plan together where any future roundabouts are going to be built to a certain standard,” Rizo said. “They are not going to be built in a way that prohibits traffic.”
Council member Michael Tobias was the dissenting vote. He raised his concerns for roundabouts being constructed near schools with pedestrian walkways, the drastic change in speed from about 50 miles per hour to 15 or 20 miles per hour, and emergency vehicles that have to travel through the small lanes.
“That’s the beauty of a roundabout,” Barba assured the council. “It does reduce accidents. It does reduce the time through the intersection. We are going to be looking at them very carefully.”