July 5, 2011
A new BBC story says America has taken a cue from Britain with its increasing fondness for roundabouts. The news agency has named Carmel, Indiana, the “American roundabout capital.”
Carmel now lays claim to 78 roundabouts, which were once locations that held traffic lights.
In the BBC’s interview, Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard, who plans to add four more roundabouts in coming months, explains why he’s spearheaded the addition of so many roundabouts.
“We have more than any other city in the US,” said Brainard. “It’s a trend now in the United States. There are more and more roundabouts being built every day because of the expense saved and more importantly the safety.”
Brainard references a study done by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety that states that there’s an average 40 percent decrease in all accidents and a 90 percent decrease in fatal accidents when a traffic intersection is replaced by a roundabout.
The mayor also points toward environmental and financial bonuses, both for the city and for drivers.
“Not just the cars that aren’t idling at traffic lights, but starting from a dead stop takes up more fuel also, so we are saving thousands of gallons of fuel per roundabout per year,” said Brainard.
Do you think the surplus of roundabouts in Carmel has reduced the number of auto accidents? Do you feel safer negotiating a roundabout rather than a traffic light?