For agencies looking to keep traffic moving and improve roadway safety, roundabouts are quickly becoming a key facet of modern roadway design throughout the United States.
What Are Roundabouts?
Roundabouts are circular intersections including rotaries, signalized traffic circles, neighborhood traffic circles, and modern roundabouts that help reduce congestion. Roundabouts have been shown to reduce the number of fatal collisions while improving travel times by avoiding stop-and-start traffic patterns.
Benefits of Roundabouts
Roundabouts can provide greater peace of mind in any community by easing commutes, reducing collisions, improving safety for all modes of transportation, and providing opportunities for placemaking. Roundabouts are beneficial for a wide range of transportation needs and scenarios:
- Residential Developments – For residential developers, roundabouts encourage slower vehicular travel and offer additional opportunities for placemaking, making neighborhood streets safer and more welcoming.
- Retail Establishments – In a retail environment, roundabouts keep travel steady and reduce parking lot incidents, while creating a safer pathway into commercial districts.
- Rural Communities – Using roundabouts in rural locations in lieu of two-way stop control and traffic signals provides improved safety, enhanced traffic operations, reduced maintenance, sustainability benefits, and supports resiliency. Many state highway departments are implementing roundabouts in rural areas as a reliable and long-term solution.
- Large Roadway Systems – For large roadway systems with heavier traffic, roundabouts improve travel times and help drivers navigate challenging intersections.
- Cyclists and Pedestrians – These circular intersection designs are also safer for bicycles and pedestrians, providing pedestrian refuges and slowing the progression of traffic. Since all traffic is coming from the same direction, cyclists, pedestrians, and drivers only need to monitor oncoming traffic in one direction before safely entering the intersection.
Consult a Roundabout Expert
Kimley-Horn leads the nation in roundabout design and innovative transportation planning techniques, such as using drones to analyze the safety and travel patterns of vehicles in a roundabout. Our roundabout engineers and planners can assist with a variety of roundabout scenarios, built to suit not just passenger cars but also heavy freight trucks and first responder vehicles such as fire trucks.
Request an Intersection Control Evaluation Report
An intersection control evaluation report is a safety and cost-benefit analysis of intersections. It is the performance-based framework standardized by the FHWA that uses a consistent process and objective metrics to review intersection alternatives. Kimley-Horn can perform an intersection control evaluation on stop control, signalized, and roundabout intersections. For each intersection control evaluation, the intersection options are screened, the preliminary control strategy is assessed, and conceptual layouts and opinions of probable costs are prepared. These assessments allow municipalities to compare the pros and cons of each intersection type and find the best fit for their area.
Our intersection control evaluation report can help your agency identify which control types merit further consideration based on project location and roadway characteristics, traffic data, warrant studies, common vehicles and intended speed, and safety concerns. This type of analysis considers more than just operations, resulting in the right intersection for the environment.