- Attention to detail, particularly with regards to aesthetics.
- Grade-separation at key intersections.
- Parkway depression instead of elevation transforms a series of auto-oriented, pedestrian-unfriendly intersections into potential linkages connecting eastern Carmel to the central core.
- Use of compact, dual "teardrop" roundabouts instead of traditional diamond interchanges or expensive SPUIs.
- Because of limited depression, on- and off-ramps are shorter, so closeness of interchanges should not be an issue (~ between 1.1 and .4 miles apart)
- Planned hardscape improvements
- Currently planned 40mph speed limit is a 10mph reduction over current configuration, and bears no correlation to design speeds; blatant revenue-generator.
- Raised curb median is not appropriate for the intuited driving speeds.
- Horizontal cross-section may be insufficient to widen in the future with adequate shoulder space.
- Would raised planters with landscaping surrounded by Jersey barriers (Caltrans: K-rails) improve crashworthiness?
- Will adequate advanced signage of turning movements at roundabout interchanges be installed?
- What about 131st St./Main St.? How will this interchange interact with the interchanges at 126th and 136th Streets? Will proximity be an issue?
- Will "weave lanes" be striped between interchanges?
- What about metering?
Despite these questions and criticisms, I rate this project very highly. The vision is far greater than anything any other cities in Indiana attempt to create, and the potential for this to be regarded as Mayor Brainard's legacy is high; Carmel just won the bid to host the 2011 National Roundabout Conference and has more roundabouts inside the city limits than anywhere else in the United States (40+ built, ~80 in total planned), and all were implemented by Mayor Brainard.
What are your thoughts?