Duluth Roundabout Would Improve Traffic Flow
Circular roadway would be safer for drivers, better for environment
Soon a roundabout will be built in Duluth. McClure Bridge Road, Irvindale Road and West Lawrenceville Street will feed into it for now. Future connections include the Hospital Connector, which is a road project being worked through now. So, what is a roundabout?
Roundabouts are circulatory roadways with center islands where all traffic flows counter-clockwise. They can be significantly safer than traffic signals when placed appropriately. Traditional traffic signals usually stop two or more directions of traffic at one time. In roundabouts, traffic is safely and effectively slowed, and traffic flow is improved. Operating more efficiently than 4-way stops and traffic signals, Duluth city officials and staff, based on recommendations from our engineering consultants, felt the roundabout was the best option in this high volume area.
Roundabouts are safer. NCHRP Report 572 (National Cooperative Highway Research Program) conducted before and after studies at 55 intersections. They found that there was:
- 35% overall decrease in crashes
- 76% decrease in injury crashes
- 81% decrease in fatal/incapacitating crashes for single-lane urban roundabouts
The circulating movement of modern roundabouts nearly eliminates the potential for high-speed, right angle and left turn/head-on collisions. Rear-end collisions are also often reduced.
Other benefits of roundabouts include being more environmentally friendly, a reduction in long-term operational costs and a more aesthetically pleasing intersection. Vehicles are not stopped waiting for a light to turn green, so there are less vehicle emissions and fuel consumption. With little or no electrical costs and lower maintenance costs, operational savings from roundabouts have been estimated at an average of $5,000 a year, according to the Nevada Department of Transportation. In the center of the roundabout, Duluth will have a unique community gateway with landscaping.
Duluth citizens can find more information about roundabouts may be found at www.dot.ga.gov/travelingingeorgia/roundabouts/Pages/default.aspx or by emailing email@example.com. Specific questions about Duluth's roundabout plans may be directed to the Planning Department by calling 678-957-7284 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. As the start date of project construction gets closer, further information about Duluth's plans will be provided.
Editor's note: Alisa Williams is the public information & marketing director for the City of Duluth.