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More roundabouts being considered for La Crosse area, says DOT



The number of roundabouts on La Crosse streets has grown lately, to include new traffic circles downtown and on South Avenue.

Wisconsin’s transportation secretary, Craig Thompson, said as drivers are getting used to the roundabouts, the demand for the circles increases.

“People in Wisconsin were resistant to roundabouts at first, like a lot of areas, and now, we can’t keep up with the amount of requests we have for roundabouts,” Thompson said, while visiting La Crosse last week to dedicate the South Avenue project.

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT) promotes traffic circles as a safer way of getting vehicles through an intersection than the traditional street crossings.

Also, Thompson says the agency is still looking at improving north-south travel through the area on existing highways, without trying to build any road through the La Crosse River marsh. The DOT announced in 2021 that it would no longer consider plans for a marsh road, and a state transportation commission also scrapped the road idea earlier this year.

“With the three main corridors that go north and south, 35, 53, and 16, we’re moving forward and looking at those,” Thompson said. “That’s gonna be the biggest improvement in the area, and doing it in a way that doesn’t affect any of the wetlands.”

City of La Crosse residents voted against a corridor plan through the marsh in a 1998 referendum.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Bob N.

    November 30, 2023 at 8:11 am

    We may have reached a point where the need for a ‘beltline’ is obvious. Commuter traffic from the east and north runs through neighborhoods via Losey Boulevard, Rose Street and West Avenue daily with slow moving traffic causing those streets to be useless to any pedestrian traffic.
    Cities of 50 thousand or larger normally have a beltline with exits to the neighborhoods and key arteries at spaced, strategic locations, greatly easing the neighborhood vehicular traffic.
    Constructing a 6 lane elevated expressway over the existing north-south railroad in the “Marsh” would be one major step forward. With the footings already in place, no further disruption to the frogs and mosquitoes would occur. I’ll duck now.

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