New Roundabout on West Campus Built to Improve Traffic Flow


Valencia College

The roundabout opened August 12 at West Campus.

Emme Baumier, Reporter

Florida has been known for its nightmare traffic and Valencia College is not immune to that statement either. West Campus has been notorious for being difficult to navigate with its many three- and four-way stops. But one of the busiest four-way stops on campus, MetroCenter Boulevard and Valencia College Drive, have been upgraded to a roundabout.

Paul Rooney, Vice President of Operations at Valencia, revealed that the school spent a lot of time and effort into seeing how they could make the space more efficient. The school had previously been able to get roughly a thousand vehicles per hour through the intersection during peak hours. Now armed with the roundabout, Rooney stated that that number would change to “two thousand to twenty-five hundred vehicles per hour with minimum delays.”

The school was aware of the previous traffic issues. “We had enough comments and observations from faculty, staff and students to know that something needed to be changed,” said Loren Bender, the Vice President of Business and Finances at Valencia. The project was proposed four years ago, and Valencia partnered with the City of Orlando, Metro West, Lynx and other companies since then to explore their options.

Valencia also studied the intersection with the help of DRMP engineers who had said that the roundabout “was the way to go.” Finalization of plans and eventual construction began in August of 2019 with the total cost being around $800,000 according to Bender.

The roundabout opened August 12 of this year and is functioning as driver friendly as possible. It was built with new and inexperienced drivers in mind. “We made it as wide as possible to give that inexperienced driver time to process everything,” Rooney said.

Along with the wide berth of the road there are also blinking caution signals, safety speed bumps, crosswalks, pedestrian crossing signals, and more — making it safer for both pedestrians and cyclists to cross the road. While functioning, the school still must put its finishing touches on the roundabout. The marketing department is in talks about adding a logo or possibly a small sign in the AstroTurf green that sits inside its center. With the projected efficiency of the project the school is ready to put its new roundabout to the test.