“Hey look kids, there’s Big Ben, and there’s Parliament…again,” said Clark Griswold (aka Chevy Chase) in European Vacation. Despite Mr. Griswold’s experience with this particular round intersection, roundabouts have proven to be very successful in addressing safety and capacity at urban and rural intersections alike. In fact:
- In comparison to a two-way, stop-controlled intersection, roundabouts reduce severe (injury/fatal) crashes by 82 percent and overall crashes by 44 percent.
- In comparison to a signalized intersection, roundabouts reduce severe (injury/fatal) crashes by 78 percent and overall crashes by 48 percent.
- In comparison to a signalized intersection, roundabouts can reduce vehicle delays by as much as 89 percent.
Additional benefits of roundabouts include:
- Reduced long-term operational costs.
- More environmentally friendly than traditional intersections due to less vehicle emissions, fuel use and noise.
- More aesthetically pleasing than traditional traffic intersections.
- Easier navigation than traditional intersections for pedestrians and bicyclists.
Because of these benefits, roundabouts are being implemented more frequently in communities throughout the country and are oftentimes considered as the traffic-control method of choice.
So, do roundabouts really work? Absolutely! If you haven’t already done so, give them a try. You might like them so much you will go round and round just like Clark Griswold.