BOISE -- Roundabouts are a traffic tool that have a lot of people in the Treasure Valley upset.

Some say they're dangerous while others say they're safer and should be installed across the valley.

The Ada County Highway District is proposing another roundabout for northwest Boise at 36th Street, West Catalpa Drive and Hill Road, right in front of Hillside Junior High School.

One of the few five-way intersections in the area, the intersection is already unique. So ACHD and the City of Boise came up with a unique way to handle the traffic, a dog-bone roundabout.

ACHD says the safety record at that intersection is fine, but congestion is getting worse. They believe that will continue unless the intersection is upgraded somehow.

Eagle residents were up in arms when a roundabout was proposed in their town. But, Craig Quintana with ACHD says that's a different situation because the roundabout impacted parking. This one won't, he says, and won't take up much more land either.

Quintana says the big questions people have had about this roundabout revolve around the safety of it.

'Why there?' Also, 'Why in front of a middle school?' From the research we've done, it's like, 'Why not there?' he said. If you look at the places like Bend, Oregon, they are specifically locating roundabouts near schools. The reason they're doing so is, in a roundabout intersection (even if you have one that's kind of funk-shaped like this one) you have half as many accidents, and the ones you do have are far less severe.

Anyone with questions or comments about the proposal can attend an open house Thursday at ACHD in Garden City. It runs from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Residents can also comment online.

Quintana believes some people haven't liked the idea of roundabouts just because they are a little resistant to change. Once roundabouts were built on Amity Road and also on Whitewater Park Boulevard, he said, they recieved a lot of positive feedback.

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