When City Council members voted two weeks ago to build a traffic circle at 4th Street and Central Avenue to slow drivers, they thought the decision would please residents, who had complained about cars and trucks zooming down Central to reach Long Beach.
But a group of about 20 residents of 4th and 5th streets criticized the project Monday night, saying it would divert traffic from the intersection onto their streets.
"The speeders are most likely to avoid that traffic circle and take the path of least resistance," said Kurt DeMeire, a 5th Street resident.
He added that city officials told him that about 3,500 cars a day now use 5th Street, and that traffic would increase by perhaps 15%, or 525 cars, with the roundabout.
The group also complained that the council decision was made without a public hearing. Residents said they didn't know a roundabout was being considered until they read about the vote.