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New Haven Unveils New Roundabout, Encourages Safety in Westville Neighborhood

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The City of New Haven unveiled a newly constructed roundabout Wednesday in the Westville neighborhood - in the shape of a peanut.

Before construction began in December of last year, closing off the intersection and nearby streets at Chapel Street and Yale Avenue, officials say the site saw more than 50 crashes over a three-year period.

"By using the peanut roundabout its sort of like two connected roundabouts. It actually allows you to enter one side or the other at the correct angle," city engineer Giovanni Zinn said.

Zinn said they wanted to create a design that would slow traffic and work with the unusual geometry of the intersection — in turn, making it safer for pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers.

He said neighbors began fighting for a change to the area about six years ago.

"They were getting woken up with the crashes. And you know, we're getting lots of pictures of very mangled up cars," Zinn said.

By the looks of it, pedestrians said they already see a big improvement.

"It looks like it’ll help with the dangers of crossing," Noe Jimenez, a New Haven resident said.

"I think that the more bike-able and walkable the city is, the better it is so I think there’s always room for improvement," he added.

The project also includes new traffic islands and other traffic-calming measures.

Mayor Justin Elicker said police will continue to crack down on speeding in the city.

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