Benefits of Roundabouts

Roundabouts are circular intersections designed to maximize safety, minimize delay and decrease fuel consumption. There are no traffic lights or stop signs at a roundabout.

Roundabouts offer communities a number of advantages compared to traditional intersections, including:

  • Pollution Reduction - Since there is a significant reduction in vehicle idling resulting in less gas is being burned into the atmosphere
  • Reduced Fuel Consumption - In addition to emission reduction, fuel consumption is reduced by as much as 30 per cent
  • Safety - All vehicles travel in the same direction, never crossing paths. This reduces the number of series crashes. Slower speeds also give drivers more time to react and make decisions.
  • Community Benefits - Roundabouts have the affect of calming traffic and speed in neighbourhoods
  • Improved Traffic Flow - Roundabouts provide a 30 to 50 per cent increase in traffic capacity

Roundabouts can reduce injuries by 75 per cent and fatalities by 90 per cent.

Myths and Facts

Myth: The public will never accept roundabouts.

Fact: Residents and motorists typically challenge and oppose roundabouts. However, opposition generally changes to acceptance within the first year of operation.

Myth: Roundabouts are not pedestrian/cyclist friendly.

Fact: Statistically, there are fewer pedestrian and bicycle collisions at roundabouts. Although the number of pedestrian crossings and/or predominance of seniors or disabled pedestrians must all be considered during the planning and design process.

Myth: Roundabouts are the same as calming circles.

Fact: Roundabouts and traffic calming circles may look similar, but their applications are very different. Traffic circles are typically installed as retro-fit traffic calming devices on local roads and have received mixed reviews due to their lack of implicit design consideration.

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