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DOTD holding meeting about Walker roundabout plans

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WALKER - While the state is considering plans that feature multiple roundabouts along Highway 447, Walker leaders are voicing concerns.

The Department of Transportation and Development will hold a public meeting Thursday to go over the three options to address traffic and safety on Highway 447. Two of the options contain roundabouts and J-turns while the third option is to build nothing. DOTD spokesman Rodney Mallett says roundabouts limit the number of high-impact crashes.

"Because it is very easy to figure out. If you know how to yield you can get through the roundabout," he said. "It's constantly moving so you don't have the backups, and the safety features are very important."

Walker Mayor Rick Ramsey says he welcomes roundabouts south of I-12. He also feels one roundabout that incorporates Burgess Avenue and Florida Boulevard could benefit traffic concerns. However, Ramsey and other city leaders oppose roundabouts between Florida Boulevard and I-12.

"I think it will kill future commercial development. I think that you would see probably 30 plus percent loss in sales revenue for a lot of our businesses, which would mean some of the smaller ones would go out of business. We would see a significant drop obviously in our sales tax revenue for the city," said Ramsey.

Mallett says DOTD will work with the city of Walker, business owners and the public to determine the best solution. The meeting will be held from 4-7 p.m. at the Literacy and Technology Center located on Florida Boulevard.

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