PRINEVILLE, OR -- As Oregon Department of Transportation crews pour concrete for curbs and ramps at the site of Prineville’s first roundabout
, a committee is looking at what should go in its center, at Highway 126 and Tom McCall Road, once it’s finished. "As part of that agreement with ODOT to construct the roundabout, the center feature is going to be determined by the city and county," says Prineville City Engineer Eric Klann.
He tells KBND News they're calling it a "feature," not "roundabout art," because officials want to keep their options open. An online survey launched this week aims to find out what the community wants. And, Klann says, it starts with some basic questions, "What is the role of the centerpiece? Is it to beautify the community, are we going to celebrate our history, or are we trying to inspire locals and visitors? What should it represent – should it represent the past or the future or be timeless? You know, things like that, just to get us a general direction."
Klann says the feature could be a sculpture, landscaping, historical piece honoring the 100th anniversary of the Prineville Railroad or something else altogether, "One of the members of our community still has the original steel-wheeled logging wagon that the Hudspeth family drug into Prineville in the early 1920s. There’s a lot of history with that piece of equipment, right there. So, is that something we want to put up there to represent our natural resource base?" He adds, "I think this is really a wonderful opportunity to welcome people to our community and welcome people home."
A Thursday Facebook post by the City of Prineville says, "The purpose of a feature/art/landscaping in a roundabout is to limit or reduce sight distance through the roundabout. Limiting this sight line allows drivers to focus on vehicles to their left that is already in the roundabout rather than those entering on the opposite side. While the feature likely won’t completely block being able to see vehicles on the other side of the roundabout, it will provide a visual screen for oncoming traffic and bring the drivers focus to the turn at hand."
The online survey is available now on the city’s website and Facebook page; or click HERE
. Klann says they’ve already heard from over 700 people since it launched earlier this week. Survey results will be revealed at a June 12th workshop; construction of the roundabout should be done by October and installation of whatever center feature they decide on, is expected in the spring of 2019.