Valparaiso Redevelopment Commission Executive Director Stuart Summers and Valparaiso Mayor Jon Costas just after the tree-lighting at Sunday's dedication ceremony for the new Five-Points Roundabout [Photo/Laura Waluszko, Radio One Communications]
The windchill may have been in single-digits, but about fifty people came out for the dedication of Valparaiso's Five-Points roundabout late Sunday afternoon. Mayor Jon Costas, joined by other city officials, led the event, thanking the many who made the city's newest and most high-profile roundabout happen, and invited kids there to help throw the wireless switch for the tree-lighting, but before that he had these words of advice for motorists. "One thing I want to say about driving the roundabout," Mayor Costas said, " It's a slow dance, there's a rhythm to it, and if everybody enters it slowly and they realize it's a dance, it works really great"
Here's the tree lighting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PMyeJIohpjA
That 25-foot tree in the center of the roundabout was re-transplanted from a city park, because the tree had to be moved from his current location. That tree is one of the trees in downtown Valpo back in the 1980s decorated during the holiday season and later planted in city parks. Last month, the city moved the Norway Spruce from Forest Park because she was in the way of a path being built and the city moved her to her new permanent home at the island at the roundabout rather than lose the tree.
The roundabout just needs to be striped, which may happen today or tomorrow, and it's expected to be fully open by Thanksgiving. To help ease anxieties residents may have, there is a new 10-minute video on roundabout driving at the city's website. For adults who want additional instruction, Redevelopment Commission Executive Director Stu Summers says his family operates Excel Driving Instruction, and some free training sessions on roundabout driving are being made available in December as a public service to the community. One of their instructors will take an individual through two roundabouts, including the new one, in a driver-ed car, then bring them back to the driving school.
To view the instructional video click here: http://www.ci.valparaiso.in.us/index.aspx?NID=1244