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Roundabouts to Bring Safer Streets and Smoother Travels

 

From 2013 to 2014, the Indianapolis Department of Public Works (DPW) plans to ease traffic flow by designing and constructing approximately six roundabouts in Indianapolis and Marion County.

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For citizens and commuters from neighboring suburbs, the new roundabouts planned for Indianapolis will result in numerous benefits, including increased safety, reduced traffic flow and fewer environmental impacts. Roundabouts also cost less to maintain than traditional intersections and result in lower long-term costs for the City and its taxpayers.

A round-a-what?

A roundabout is a circular intersection through which vehicles travel counterclockwise around a center island. Traffic entering a roundabout slows to between 15 and 20 miles per hour and yields the right-of-way to circulating vehicles, which allows for smoother traffic flow and fewer delays. Bicyclists can also navigate easily through a roundabout, and sidewalks are often installed on the perimeter for pedestrians.

 

How are roundabouts safer than traditional intersections?

In parts of the country where traditional intersections have been converted to roundabouts, motor vehicle crashes have been reduced by approximately 40 percent, and injury crashes have declined by 80 percent, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

The circular design of roundabouts helps to reduce right-angle, left-turn and high-speed, head-on collisions that are common at four-way and two-way intersections. As vehicles approach roundabouts, motorists must reduce their speed, so serious and minor accidents occur less often.

For pedestrians, sidewalks along the perimeter of the roadway and shorter crossing distances also increase safety.

What are the environmental impacts of roundabouts?

Because there are fewer traffic delays, motorists spend less time idling at roundabouts, so fuel consumption, air pollution and noise pollution from vehicles starting and stopping all can be reduced. Vehicle emissions such as carbon monoxide and nitrous oxide emissions can be significantly minimized, thanks to smoother traffic flow through roundabouts, and air quality in Indianapolis, ultimately, will improve. Eliminating traffic signals also reduces energy consumption by the City.

 

How can I learn more about roundabouts?

The following organizations offer more information on the benefits of​ roundabouts: 

U.S. Federal Highway Administration

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety - Website

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety​​ - YouTube Video

 
 

 

 

 
Help others learn about roundabouts. Print a poster to display at work or school.

 
Get involved with the conversation! Discuss roundabouts with RebuildIndy on Twitter​ and Facebook​.
 
Interested in learning more about roundabouts? View our presentation!

 

 

Roundabout Projects:

 

 

Final Report-Spring Mill Rd 91st St.pdf