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Why roundabouts are so unusual within the U.S.


Contemplate the easy roundabout — a site visitors circle well-known in Europe however much less acquainted throughout most of America.

Proponents say roundabouts can dramatically cut back crashes, accidents and deaths, can enhance site visitors and even save a metropolis a good bit of cash. However they’ve solely not too long ago caught on within the U.S., and never with out resistance.

That’s, besides in Carmel, Indiana.

Mayor Jim Brainard turned enamored with roundabouts whereas learning within the U.Okay. as a younger man. He is since crammed the streets of his metropolis with them — at about 150 and counting, in a metropolis of 100,000 folks. 

“I get requests each month, it appears,” Brainard mentioned. “‘Are you able to do away with this site visitors mild close to my home or close to my enterprise?’ I could not take a roundabout out at this time if I needed to.”

Analysis backs Brainard’s guess. The Insurance coverage Institute for Freeway Security, which is funded by the insurance coverage trade and points extensively watched crash take a look at scores for autos, says roundabouts are significantly safer for drivers and pedestrians and trigger a lot much less congestion than site visitors lights. They’re even higher for the atmosphere.

Roundabouts aren’t with out their critics, although. Some say they might not deal with giant quantities of site visitors as properly, and there may be some analysis that claims sure designs can truly be extra dangerous for bicyclists.

However Brainard says they’ve helped rework his group.

“We now have 150 company headquarters in Carmel. We now have been rated time and again by numerous organizations [as] among the best locations to stay in america; among the best locations to retire; among the best locations to lift households; among the best locations for single folks. It was as a result of we got down to construct a metropolis that labored,” he mentioned. “And the transportation community is a kind of staple items {that a} metropolis has to do proper for it to work.”

Watch the video to study extra.



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