A roundabout is a one-way, circular intersection in which traffic flows around a center island.
- Roundabouts are designed to meet the needs of all roadway users, such as drivers, pedestrians, pedestrians with disabilities, and bicyclists.
- Because roundabout traffic enters or exits only through right turns, the occurrence of severe crashes is substantially reduced.
- Slower speeds and fewer stops and starts result in less traffic noise.
- Since traffic is continuously moving, air pollution and fuel use decrease as well.
- Roundabouts are energy efficient and easier to maintain due to the lack of traffic signals.
Since many roundabouts are being constructed in central Ohio, MORPC’s local government members have joined together to create a regional outreach program to help you better understand the rules of driving a roundabout and the benefits of having a roundabout in a community.
Benefits of Roundabouts
- Safety: Modern roundabouts, compared to “traditional” traffic signal intersections, have been proven to reduce injury crashes by 76%, fatalities by 90%, and overall crashes by 35% (source: FHWA brochure, “Roundabouts: A Safer Choice”). This is mainly because of the lower speeds at roundabouts compared to traffic signal intersections. Crashes at roundabouts are typically less severe.
- Improved traffic flow: Roundabouts allow traffic to flow continuously through intersections, alleviating congestion.
- Better solution for complex intersections: Roundabouts can be constructed at intersections with unusual geometry, such as 5-legged intersections or where two roads intersect at sharp angles. Signalizing these types of intersections is often difficult.
- Fewer conflict points: Compared to a typical traffic signal intersection, a roundabout has fewer conflict points where crashes can potentially occur:
For information on how to drive a roundabout, click the “How to” link on the left sidebar.