Roundabouts are opposed

Published: Saturday, February 1, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 31, 2003 at 11:10 p.m.

Your poll (Jan. 24) of preferences for intersection control may measure perceptions and preferences, but the results may be deceiving.

In 2001, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety conducted a survey of Kansas, Maryland, and Nevada drivers where roundabouts were to be constructed. Each time drivers were surveyed, those against roundabouts were asked the reasons for their opposition. About one-third said that they would prefer traffic signals or stop signs. Another 40 percent were concerned about safety or confusion. After the roundabouts were constructed, only half as many were opposed.

An earlier study of crashes and injuries at 24 intersections before and after construction of roundabouts found a 39 percent overall decrease in crashes at intersections with roundabouts, and a 76 percent decrease in injury-producing crashes. Collisions involving fatal or incapacitating injuries fell as much as 90 percent.

Where roundabouts replace intersections with stop signs or traffic signals, delays in traffic can be reduced as much as 75 percent.

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