WARNER ROBINS, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Warner Robins City Engineer Walter Gray's plan to improve traffic has come full circle.
Within six months, the city is gearing up to renovate two intersections into roundabouts. Construction is underway at the Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard and Wellborn Road intersection and once its complete crews will begin paving the way for a second roundabout at Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard and University Drive.
The modern whirlpool of traffic is designed to keep drivers moving in one motion and let them out at a separate location. Gray has studied the new route for years and says it's the start of a traffic trend in town.
"Roundabouts don't require you to come to a full stop unless they're extremely congested, so you can keep moving so that you can avoid stop and go traffic," Gray said.
According to Gray, research shows the constant flow saves on gas, fewer stop lights mean less maintenance for the city and the slower speed keeps accidents to a minimum.
The project is one of the city's first major roundabouts. The problem, commuters often struggle navigating the confusing concept.
"There's not many roundabouts here, "said driver Daniel Crovo, "so I don't know how it would be, but if people knew what they were doing it'd be pretty good."
"For the people who don't know what they are, they're kind of difficult," said driver Will McMahan.
"Initially most people don't like them," Gray explains, "and then almost everyone likes them one or two months after they get used to them."
Like them or not, commuters in Warner Robins have less than a year before the crash course in navigating the changes.