Traffic circles along Floyd Avenue causing confusion for drivers

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC)- Museum District residents on Wednesday night challenged city officials with tough questions about the Floyd Avenue Bike Boulevard. Not everyone is happy with the design of the project.

Eleven traffic circles have been installed along Floyd Avenue, designed to slow vehicle traffic and allow cyclists and walkers to travel more safely and efficiently. However, some drivers and other critics are telling the Department of Public Works the circles are creating more problems than they are alleviating.

“We’ve seen school buses trying to make a left-hand turn, said homeowner Gus Fulleborn. “They have to do multi-point backups to navigate the circle. UPS drivers are running over the curbs already.”

Some worry the new additions are slowing down emergency response times, while others are frustrated with fewer places to park.

“You can’t park as close to the curb (as before) because you’ve got to worry about people coming around and hitting your car,” said Johnathan Golding, who lives on Floyd Avenue. “I’ve seen people get hit.”

Drivers have also expressed confusion over who has the right-of-way as they approach the circles. Stretching along  two miles of Floyd from North Thompson to North Laurel Streets, first district councilman Jon Baliles says the $900,000 project is effectively slowing drivers and making the avenue safer.

“In my district, I think people are saying they’re working,” Baliles said.

Moving forward, crews will add crosswalk markings and raise sidewalks along the bike boulevard. They’ll also take down the traffic signal at North Belmont Avenue, turning the intersection from a four-way stop to a two-way yield.

On Monday, city council is set to approve the ordinance to remove the signal. The bike boulevard is expected to be finished in May.

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