Ten Years Later: Driving Downtown Binghamton’s Roundabout
Downtown Binghamton's most efficient and controversial traffic feature - the Court Street roundabout - opened a decade ago.
The traffic circle at the busy intersection with Chenango and Exchange streets became operational - with no fanfare - on August 24, 2012.
The roundabout was constructed as a key part of the Court Street Gateway Project, which made other infrastructure improvements in the heart of the city's business district.
Planning for the major street rebuilding initiative started when Richard Bucci was mayor. But when public hearings were held on the project in 2007 - after Matthew Ryan became mayor - the only roundabout proposal was the only thing that drew criticism.
The project with the traffic circle ultimately went forward but it became a campaign issue when Richard David ran for mayor in 2009. David held a news conference at the site of the planned roundabout and pledged he would scrap the idea if he became mayor.
Ryan was elected to a second term and the roundabout was built, eliminating the antiquated traffic signals at the Court Street intersection.
Although most motorists had no problem navigating the circle, some did. Police reports indicated the trouble at the roundabout involved drivers who were impaired, inattentive or speeding.
Ryan said one of the initial problems for truckers was outdated information on their GPS devices. He said things improved after the roundabout was properly displayed on navigation services.
After ten years, the downtown roundabout still is a hot-button issue for some. But two new roundabouts opened in recent weeks in the town of Dickinson just north of Binghamton and transportation planners say more will be built in the region in the future.
Ten Years of the Binghamton Roundabout
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