Carmel mayor looks to change rules at roundabouts

Carmel, Indiana, mayor to propose new roundabout rules

CARMEL, Ind. (WISH) – Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard is looking to propose new rules for the city’s roundabouts.

If there’s one thing Carmel is known for, it’s roundabouts.

But now, Mayor Brainard is hoping to change some rules regarding the intersections that put Carmel on the map.

He spoke Wednesday night about safety of roundabouts at the unveiling of new architecture at the roundabout at Old Meridian and Pennsylvania Street.

While Mayor Brainard didn’t speak on camera with News 8 about the changes he brought up at a budget meeting earlier this week, his office confirmed he plans to propose two new laws that he says will make the city safer.

“This is just another tool in our toolbox to take our already safe intersections, and make them safer,” said Jeremy Kashman, director of engineering for the City of Carmel.

The first would set speed limits in all roundabouts at 15 mph.

Right now, the yellow signs just advise a 15-mph limit, meaning they’re not enforceable.

Once speed limits become law, they are changed to white signs.

Drivers have mixed opinions.

“Just because it’s a roundabout, there should be no reason why you slow down,” said driver Sarah Salisbury.

“As long as you’re safe and not going to wreck into anybody, I don’t think there should be a mandatory speed limit,” said Carmel resident, Chris Morris.

“There are people who think it’s an adventure to see how fast they can go around the roundabout, so I think slowing it down makes it safer,” said Carmel resident, Jim Skinner.

The second change is an ordinance that would require vehicles to stop at crosswalks if a pedestrian is about to cross.

That’s another hot-button issue for Carmel residents.

“As far as the flow of traffic and the whole point of a roundabout, you want to keep that steady pace going. So I don’t know about stopping completely,” said Carmel resident, Ashley Dugan.

“I’m worried about the application. Because anyone who isn’t from Carmel, won’t be familiar with that rule, and then there will be this guessing game about whether you go or don’t go. So I think that’s going to be a problem,” said Skinner.

Right now, state law only requires a driver to stop if the pedestrian is already in the roadway.

Either way, drivers that spoke to News 8 seem to be on both sides of the street when it comes to changes to the city’s roundabouts.

Officials for the mayor’s office said Mayor Brainard hopes to get a full proposed ordinance written up and put together to present to the Carmel City Council by the Oct. 7 meeting.