Does Minnesota Have Too Many Roundabouts?
Does the name Frank Blackmore ring a bell? He was the guy who came up with the crazy idea of a roundabout way back in the early 60's. Remember when roundabouts started making an appearance in Minnesota? Remember all the bitter comments from everyone who fears change?
- "I don't know why they think these things are going to work."
- "There is no way a semi truck is going to fit through that thing."
- "People are going to be crashing into the back of the cars in front of them."
- "People are gonna get piled up in the middle."
- "Older people will never figure it out."
- "How much is this costing the state?"
- "Now we'll have more crashes than ever before."
- "How are buses supposed to fit through there."
- "They are going to create such a mess."
I think by now, we have all figured out, that although some of us get a little dizzy when we drive through roundabouts all in a row, we can't deny that they are streamlining traffic, saving lives, and accidents that DO happen are less serious than before they were in use.
The facts are:
- Roundabouts can reduce vehicle emissions and fuel consumption by 30%.
- Roundabouts handle traffic much better in most situations than signals or stop signs because the entry and exit into the roundabout slows traffic so entering and exiting are more efficient.
- Roundabouts show an 86% decrease in fatal crashes, an 83% decrease in life altering crashes, and a 42% overall decrease in injury crash rates.
THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW
- It's our job to give large trucks enough room to use a roundabout. They can legally take up both lanes when making their way through the roundabout...so give them the space they need..it's our job to do so, and they will need both lanes.
- You are not supposed to pass people in a roundabout.
- Do not stop in a roundabout.
- Yield to traffic in the roundabout when you are entering.
- You must yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk.
PEDESTRIANS NEED TO KNOW
- Pedestrians should NEVER cross to the center island in a roundabout.
- Pedestrians need to stay on the designated walkways.
- Remember to ride WITH traffic, not AGAINST traffic.
- Bicycles should be able to travel at or with the same speed as motorists when making their way through.
- Bicyclists must follow the same driving rules on roundabouts as other vehicles, yielding to pedestrians.