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ROUNDABOUTS

A roundabout is a one-way, circular intersection design in which traffic flows around a center island. There are two types of roundabouts: Single-lane roundabouts and multi-lane roundabouts.

Since many roundabouts are being constructed in Central Ohio, MORPC’s local government members have joined together to create regional outreach materials to help you better understand the rules of driving a roundabout and the benefits of having a roundabout in a community. Below is an education video that explains how to successfully navigate the roundabouts in your communities:

 An abridged, 2-minute version of this video is also available on YouTube.

Benefits of Roundabouts:

  • Safety: Modern roundabouts, compared to “traditional” traffic signal intersections, have been proven to reduce injury crashes by 76%, fatalities by 90%, and overall crashes by 35% (source: FHWA brochure, “Roundabouts: A Safer Choice”). This is mainly because of the lower speeds at roundabouts compared to traffic signal intersections. Crashes at roundabouts are typically less severe because roundabout traffic enters or exits only through right turns and travels at slower speeds.
  • Improved traffic flow: Roundabouts allow traffic to flow continuously through intersections, alleviating congestion.
  • Better solution for complex intersections: Roundabouts can be constructed at intersections with unusual geometry, such as 5-legged intersections or where two roads intersect at sharp angles. Signalizing these types of intersections is often difficult.
  • Fewer conflict points: Compared to a typical traffic signal intersection, a roundabout has fewer conflict points where crashes can potentially occur.
  • Easy to maintain: Roundabouts are energy efficient and easier to maintain due to lack of traffic signals.

Always yield and stay in your lane. State Law requires motorists to yield to pedestrians waiting to cross at the crosswalk, just like they are to yield to cars in the circulating portion of the roadway. Lane use is very similar to a typical four-way intersection, except for a slight circular adjustment.