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POLL: Do Roundabouts Support Traffic Safety?

They're growing in popularity among traffic engineers and the Wisconsin DOT, but not everybody loves this form of intersection control. Vote in our poll and tell us more in the comments.

Traditional American attitudes about traffic roundabouts were probably best summed up in the 1985 film “National Lampoon’s European Vacation,” when Clark Griswold famously “can’t get left.

But in Wisconsin and the United States, roundabouts have been increasingly developed at problem intersections. Wisconsin has more than 200 roundabouts, according to the state Department of Transportation. Three have been added on the , and they are sprinkled throughout suburban counties.

Not everyone loves them, of course. , with overwhelming community support.

And an in Port Washington ignited a debate about safety of that area on Patch, with a fair amount of support for roundabouts. User Angel days wrote:

The great thing about round-abouts though is that it reduces the chance of life threatening injuries because you have to go slower. I agree, people don't know how to use them yet but that is because they are new to most. People will eventually figure that out.

Do you think roundabouts are a good idea, or are they just a crazy mess? (“Look, kids … Parliament.”) Vote in our poll and then take part in an online discussion in the comments.

Terry Van Parys August 21, 2012 at 11:39 PM
I love the roundabouts...vastly more efficient than stupid, miss-timed stoplights. They'll run smoother once our slow-witted neighbors get them figured out.
AG August 22, 2012 at 12:00 AM
Born in England so grew up with these roundabouts, like most people say keeps traffic moving and just a side note if you are a tree hugger you should love these with no electricity being used and can even plant a garden in the middle. Next thing Americans need to understand you use your directional signal when going around these roundabouts. Left directional signal, you show you are going around and the right signal when leaving the roundabout.
B.a. Liberski August 22, 2012 at 05:03 PM
Roundabouts are a bad idea. Horse and buggy days they were pretty in old france, a hundred years ago. Now they waste time, signs like crazy, road paint that is worn off quickly and invisible during the winter. On the plus side they are better than what the DOT did with the Michel interchange. You have to go right to go left, left to go right and if the traffic is snarled you end up in the wrong lane and 20 minutes get added to your commute. Billions wasted. Chicago sucks but it is now better than here. Milwaukee will have road destruction forever, just like Chicago.
Spencer August 23, 2012 at 06:36 PM
If they are about safery at dangerous intersections why are thee three consecutive round abouts just outside Milton one of which is not even an intersection. That's right, just a round about no other road going into it. Even if they build another road leading into it how do they know it's going to be dangerous? As far has traffic flow I've had to stop numerous times at them to allow cars from the left to go by, so the idea that you don't have to stop at them is not really true. Maybe they're worthwhile at some intersections, but I think some communites are going overboard.
Ann August 26, 2012 at 12:57 AM
go to Oshkosh - two on one side of the freeway at 9th avenue and 3 on the other side - try having time to determine what lane you need to be in to get on the freeway

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