Everyone who drives has most likely driven through a roundabout.
It has one purpose — but serves a few advantages to a normal 4 way intersection.
Heidi Werosta tells you why these roundabouts are safer than a typical crossway.
There are roughly 40 roundabouts in the state of North Dakota and the ND DOT is considering in putting in more because they are reducing the number of fatalities.
Dave Throndset, Lincoln Resident, says, “Getting out here on Lincoln Road used to be really a hassle in the morning. You could sit at the stop sign for a long time.”
Now — he claims that the roundabouts are keeping everything moving smooth.
The purpose to a roundabout is to safely move vehicles, pedestrians, and bicycles.
It doesn’t have any hard right angle turns that you’d typically see at a 4-way interchange.
Shawn Kuntz, Traffic Operations Engineer for DOT, says, “A 4 legged intersection has 32 conflict points and a roundabout reduces those down to 8 conflict points. Those are vehicle to vehicle conflict points.”
Kuntz says that a roundabout is proven to reduce fatal crashes by up to 82%.
Christie Massen, Lincoln resident, says, “I haven’t had any issues with the roundabouts nor have I seen any accidents. So I would say they seem safer.”
The way to go about a Roundabout is you yield to those already in the circle. Then when the coast is clear you are free to go in a counterclockwise motion and you stay to the right. Then when you are ready to leave the circle that is when you proceed to your route. It’s as simple as that.
Massen says, “I was very skeptical of the roundabouts at first. I thought they would actually hinder the flow of traffic rather than help it. However, now that they are in we’ve kind of gotten used to them…. the morning commutes are a lot easier.”
Easier and safer.
On a roundabout the pedestrian walkways are also further away from the intersection.
That way the driver can focus on the pedestrians and then worry about the turn later.