Why we’re studying the benefits of Roundabouts

When’s the last time you thought about a circle? Humans have recognized circles since ancient times. Natural circles include the shapes of the sun and moon, the human eye, tree cross-sections, some flowers, some shells, etc. Historically, they are often used to symbolize harmony and unity. They can also be helpful in traffic safety. How? Roundabouts.

Did you know roundabouts are an FHWA-proven safety countermeasure that has been shown to reduce fatal and serious injury crashes by over 75%?

The modern roundabout is an intersection with a circular configuration that safely and efficiently moves traffic. Roundabouts feature channelized, curved approaches that reduce vehicle speed, entry yield control that gives right-of-way to circulating traffic, and counterclockwise flow around a central island that minimizes conflict points. The net result of lower speeds and reduced conflicts at roundabouts is an environment where crashes that cause injury or fatality are substantially reduced.

At CRCOG, we seek to improve intersection traffic safety across our region. As part of this effort, we’ve partnered with Connecticut’s Department of Transportation (CTDOT), and the firm VHB, to study the potential safety benefits of roundabouts on our roads. We’re conducting a screening study of over 8,000 intersections on state and local roads in the CRCOG region.

Intersections were ranked using crash data over a three-year period, and only locations with six or more fatal or injury-related crashes were included in the final rankings. Intersections recommended for further project development, in each of CRCOG’s 38 municipalities, were identified.

We look forward to working with municipalities and CTDOT to consider recommended locations to develop roundabout projects in our region. Would you like to see more roundabouts? Let us know in the comments.

Want to learn more about roundabouts? Read this CT Mirror article.

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