Thursday, June 18, 2009

Making the case for roundabouts

According to this story from WBAY TV 2 an Indiana mayor will be in De Pere this evening to talk about his firsthand experiences with roundabouts. As readers know the Wisconsin DOT is proposing the addition of more than 40 roundabouts at on- and off-ramps to U.S. Highway 41 during the highway’s reconstruction project. Many citizens don’t like the idea of roundabouts, citing everything from a waste of money and no compelling reason for them to not having enough evidence that they are safer or that they are actually less safe than traditional intersections.

But according to this report, Carmel, Indiana – a suburb of Indianapolis – is considered by some to be a model of how roundabouts can work. Since 1997 the city has built 60 roundabouts and another 40 are being considered. Why? Because, Carmel’s mayor says, they’ve seen an 80 percent reduction in accidents with injuries, roundabouts are less expensive than traditional intersections with signals, and they’re much better in the long-run for the environment.

Besides being proposed as part of the U.S. 41 reconstruction, roundabouts have been the subject of much heated controversy and debate in the city of Green Bay in recent months.


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