County Supervisor Alfredo Pedroza has worked on the roundabouts idea. Pedroza is chairperson of both the NVTA Board and Metropolitan Transportation Commission, as well as a key proponent of Napa Valley Forward.
“Our intention is to make these intersections safer, but also to improve traffic flow,” Pedroza said.
NVTA Board member and Calistoga City Councilmember Gary Kraus cast the lone “no” vote against pursuing the roundabouts grant funding.
“I don’t like roundabouts, period,” Kraus said in an interview after the meeting. “I haven’t driven through a roundabout that it wasn’t a white-knuckle experience.”
Locals might learn how to zip through local roundabouts, but visitors are in a different situation, Kraus said. He recalled his own experiences as a visitor to other areas when suddenly encountering an unfamiliar roundabout.
The NVTA’s March 17 Zoom-only meeting was the first time the agency has had the proposed roundabouts on an agenda. No one from the public spoke either in favor or against the idea.
One question has been whether roundabouts would fit at these intersections, given such constraints as nearby buildings, vineyards, parking lots, and the Napa Valley Wine Train tracks.
The answer appears to be “yes.” The NVTA has drawings showing how the roundabouts could be configured, with the shapes not necessarily perfectly round to minimize the amount of adjacent property needed.