Gallatin County

Mar 15, 2011 10:07 AM by Lindsay Clein

Roundabouts being discussed along Jackrabbit Lane

Those that often use Jackrabbit Lane were excited when the Montana Department of Transportation did away with the idea of raising medians on the road. But now, some are concerned about possible roundabouts being installed at multiple intersections on the highway.

"The idea to put roundabouts on Jackrabbit I think is not a good idea," said Gallatin County Resident Kiri Jorgensen who is an avid Jackrabbit Lane user and Monforton School Teacher.

"I just think it's a big expense that is not necessary for those intersections on Jackrabbit," Jorgensen said.

Roundabouts are being considered on Hulbert, North Star, Durston and East Baxter.
If roundabouts are not installed, traffic lights would be put at the Baxter/Jackrabbit intersection and the Northstar/Jackrabbit intersection.

"I would prefer a roundabout over a light," said Real Estate Broker in Four Corners Fred Bell.

Fred Bell has been working in Four Corners for around 30 years.

"We need full movement intersections to keep our businesses viable and enable customers to get in and out of our businesses," Bell said.

Gallatin County's three commissioners have differing opinions on the roundabouts as well, which is why the three agreed to leave the final decision in the hands of the Montana Department of Transportation.

"The commissioners just aren't comfortable with making the decision about what's best in their budget so we are passing that back to them," Commissioner Skinner said.

"The county commissioners are just not traffic engineeers," Commissioner White said.

Commissioners Skinner and Murdock believe that the roundabouts could be a good thing if designed properly, but Commissioner White thinks they could be problematic on that section of highway.

"I worry about the type of traffic that drive that road like recreational vehicles pulling cars," White said. And I know roundabouts can be built large, but there really is an educational curve you really have to address."

The construction on Jackrabbit is scheduled to begin this summer.


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