Roundabout could replace stop sign at Highway 46, Vineyard Drive

The four-way stop sign and blinking red light between Cambria and Paso Robles is brand new, but it could be on its way out if a proposal to be aired Thursday, Oct. 12, is adopted.

Caltrans District 5 plans a public information meeting on that proposal — which would replace the stop sign with a traffic circle — from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Vineyard Elementary School, 2121 Vineyard Drive in Templeton.

The location is appropriate because the traffic circle, or roundabout, would be at Vineyard Drive and Highway 46, about three-quarters of the way from Highway 1 to Highway 101 from Cambria.

Traffic circles, long popular in Europe, have been employed in more limited numbers in the U.S. For instance, there’s a two-lane roundabout in Morro Bay, at Morro Bay Boulevard and Quintana Road, just west of the Highway 1 exit.

That traffic circle was installed in 2008, replacing a stop sign at the intersection.

But earlier this year, Templeton residents rejected a plan to install a roundabout near the Main Street-Highway 101 interchange that would have cost $10 million to $16.5 million. Concerns about roundabout safety and their suitability for truck traffic helped stall that proposal.

The Oct. 12 meeting will “allow the public to learn more about this project and ask questions of Caltrans safety engineers,” Jim Shivers of the Caltrans Public Information Office said in a news release.

The formal presentation is scheduled to begin about 6 p.m.

The single-lane roundabout would replace the four-way stop sign installed in July at Highway 46 West and Vineyard Drive. The project is funded through the State Highway Operational and Protection Program (SHOPP) Safety Improvement Program.

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