Safe and round
The latest fashion in road design, roundabouts, is starting to appear in significant numbers in Indiana. Carmel has completed dozens of them and has more planned. Avon, Bloomington and Fort Wayne have embraced them.
Numerous studies show that roundabouts can reduce the number and severity of accidents. They also move traffic through intersections faster than stoplights or stop signs. But they are creating controversy and confusion among motorists unused to navigating circular intersections. If not properly designed, roundabouts can cause accidents and delays.
That's why Indiana lawmakers, as well as state and local highway planners, need to standardize the design. They also need to mount a campaign to educate Indiana drivers on how to drive through roundabouts.
Carmel has discovered that proper design and good signage are essential.
Studies show that while drivers initially resist roundabouts, their acceptance rapidly increases as they get used to navigating them.
Consistency of design, understandable instructions and driver education are essential if roundabouts are to work. Everyone needs to know what to expect.