Roundabouts cut congestion and reduce collisions and deaths

Once seen only in countries like France and Britain, the roundabout, favored by traffic engineers because it cuts congestion and reduces collisions and deaths, is experiencing rapid growth in the United States. First built in the United States in the early 1990s, roundabouts have doubled in the last decade, to around 5,000 today.

Compared with stop signs and traffic lights, roundabouts are significantly safer, engineers say. For example, crashes that result in serious injuries or death are reduced by 82 percent versus a two-way stop, and by 78 percent compared with an intersection with traffic lights, according to Jeff Shaw, the intersections program manager for the Federal Highway Administration.

Unlike standard intersections, drivers cannot speed across a street and hit a vehicle in the perpendicular lane; instead, they must slow and merge with others in the circle. Left turns in front of oncoming traffic are eliminated. And because vehicles never come to a complete stop, less fuel is consumed.

To read the entire New York Times article, visit this link: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/31/automobiles/wheels/

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