The roundabout is expected to be completed in fall 2023
PASO ROBLES — Progress is being made on the Golden Hill and Union Road roundabout as the City of Paso Robles released aerial view photos of the site this week.
The roundabout was proposed and authorized by the City Council in 2011 with the adoption of the City’s Circulation Element. Preliminary work, which did not require road closures, of the site began in 2021. Construction broke ground for the roundabout in August of this year, resulting in the closure of the intersection.
The roundabout was proposed over 10 years ago to mitigate high traffic coming through the intersection. The council chose the dog-bone shaped roundabout to be the best solution to the traffic problem as it would still accommodate semi-trucks.
But some residents are still concerned as to why the city chose a roundabout rather than a stoplight to solve the traffic dilemma. One resident asked the city on its roundabout update posting on social media, “Why not just a stop light? I assume it would be much cheaper?”
The city responded to the resident, saying there were a few reasons they did not choose the stoplight route, saying, “It was tried at that location before and made matters worse. Realigning that intersection to allow for stoplights would require the City buying more land, the roundabout does not. A roundabout will accommodate more traffic and keep traffic flowing.”
In a July 2022 press release regarding the roundabout, the city explained the City Council “had the choice to keep the intersection open during a 2-3 year construction project with changing road closures and detours or to close the intersection to traffic during construction, which would cut construction time in half and save taxpayers around $1 million.”
In the Aug. 17 City Council meeting, residents were asked to respect designated detours around the intersection. According to residents on social media, drivers are still using the nearby neighborhoods and business parking lots as detours.
During construction, several detours are in place, including the newly paved Ardmore Road.
As stated in the Aug. 17 meeting, residents are asked to respect the Ardmore neighborhood and to please use alternate routes such as Highway 46 as often as possible when coming into town. County residents coming to town are recommended to go west on Union, then turn right at Golden Hill, then left at the traffic signal at Highway 46.
All businesses in the vicinity will remain open and accessible during construction, with separate driveways available.
But not all residents are dreading the incoming roundabout. Some are asking for more roundabouts around the city.
One resident said, “Rounds are so much better than lights. I know they scare people, but once you drive it a couple of times and if it has good signing, it will be excellent.”
The roundabout this expected to be complete by fall of 2023.
Additional information on the project can be found here prcity.com/1002/Golden-Hill-and-Union-Detour