Why landscaping is being added to roundabouts in Hamilton County

CARMEL, Ind (WISH) – Hamilton County roundabout landscaping projects aren’t just about beauty.

Drive along Main Street in Carmel and there’s a roundabout that stands apart from the rest. At the Keystone Avenue intersection, a new wall circles the roundabout.

It’s a feature not just in Carmel. In Fishers, at the 126th Street and Lantern Road roundabout, a stone wall and trees are also being added.

The improvements seem to baffle drivers.

“I have no idea [why it’s there],” Carmel resident Richard Doyel said. “I thought it was a flower planting landscaping structure.”

“Knowing Carmel, they’re probably just trying to make it more pleasing to the eye,” Carmel resident Rebecca Stuart said. “I don’t [know why it’s there], unless there’s houses close there,” Carmel resident Staci Callaway said.

“With a little bit of something to it, I think it really adds to the beauty,” Noblesville resident Rick Vincent said.

One reason no one mentioned is safety. “That’s because you’re not supposed to see the cars,” Carmel Mayor James Brainard said. “You’re just supposed to look to the left for the gap; just like when you get on the interstate.”

Brainard says all Keystone Avenue roundabouts are getting an upgrade. The features not only improve safety, but beautify neighborhoods.

“I’d much rather look at my bedroom window and see that than see a stoplight switching all night,” Brainard said.

Not all drivers are sold on the idea.

“I personally like being able to see everything that’s going on so that I can avoid conflicts and being hit at any time or knowing when to go,” Stuart said.

The current Carmel project costs $539,894. The money is coming from the 2010 COIT bond.

Brainard said work on the remaining Keystone Avenue roundabouts will take place within the year.

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