Concluding a cantankerous public debate about mini-roundabouts, the City Council voted 6-to-1 to authorize a $1 million construction contract to get three new, improved, and permanent roundabouts built on the upper east side as part of a broader traffic calming strategy that also included 14 bulb-outs and 52 wheelchair ramps on curbs. The mini-roundabouts-designed to slow down zooming motorists-drew heat from people who regularly used Garden Street, but have enjoyed substantial support from neighborhood activists. “I don’t know who these people are. I’ve never seen them before,” said one ardent critic of the roundabouts. But even the most zealous supporter of the round-abouts admitted that the temporary structures were “butt ugly.” The roundabouts issue may not be completely dead; three of the challengers now running for city council have cited the roundabouts as an example of ineffective anti-automobile social engineering by City Hall.


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