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Highways for LIFE: Modern Roundabouts

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Published on May 9, 2011

[Closed Captioned]

ALTHOUGH YOU MAY NOT BE AWARE OF IT, CRASHES AT INTERSECTIONS ACCOUNT FOR ABOUT 45% OF ALL TRAFFIC COLLISIONS NATIONWIDE.

THAT'S A PRETTY SHOCKING STATISTIC! BUT IF YOU THINK ABOUT IT - MOTORISTS AND PEDESTRIANS ENTER INTERSECTIONS AT
DIFFERENT TIMES AND SPEEDS THROUGHOUT THE DAY AND NIGHT, VIRTUALLY YEAR ROUND.

THE DANGER IS COMPOUNDED WHEN CARS ENTER AT HIGH SPEEDS, DISREGARDING THE TRAFFIC SIGNALS.

YOU MAY BE SURPRISED TO KNOW THAT AS EARLY AS 1905 TRANSPORTATION SPECIALISTS WERE WORKING TO DEVELOP THE BEST SOLUTIONS FOR INTERSECTIONS.

THE FIRST TRAFFIC CIRCLES, OR ROTARIES, APPEARED IN THE UNITED STATES AND OTHER COUNTRIES AROUND THAT TIME.

THERE WAS JUST ONE PROBLEM: THESE CIRCLES WERE DESIGNED TO ACCOMMODATE HIGH SPEED ENTRIES - AND AS TRAFFIC BEGAN TO INCREASE, SO DID THE CONGESTION AND THE NUMBER OF CRASHES.
IN 1966, THE UNITED KINGDOM ADOPTED A "GIVE-WAY" RULE, WHICH REQUIRED ENTERING TRAFFIC TO YIELD TO TRAFFIC ALREADY IN THE CIRCLE.

MODERN ROUNDABOUTS IN THE US ARE ONE-WAY CIRCULAR INTERSECTIONS IN WHICH TRAFFIC FLOWS AROUND A CENTER ISLAND.
WHAT MAKES THEM SUPERIOR TO THE EARLIER DESIGN IS THAT THEY ELIMINATE LEFT TURNS, THE CAUSE OF MANY SERIOUS INJURIES, WHILE ALSO PROVIDING FEWER STOPS, DELAYS AND LESS CONGESTION.

SEDONA, ARIZONA HAS SEEN FIRST-HAND HOW MODERN ROUNDABOUTS CAN INCREASE SAFETY AND ADD TO THE OVERALL AESTHETICS OF AN ALREADY BEAUTIFUL LOCATION.

BERKHALTER: "WE'VE ACTUALLY DONE SIX NOW AND THEY'RE LEARNING EACH TIME THEY DO IT HOW TO DO IT A LITTLE FASTER AND A LITTLE BETTER."

WHAT MADE THE SEDONA PROJECT UNIQUE WAS THE AMOUNT OF SUPPORT AND COMMUNITY OUTREACH THE ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION INCLUDED AS PART OF THE PROCESS.

SCHMAC: "WE REALLY DEVELOPED THIS WITH, RATHER THAN PRESENTING IDEAS TO THE COMMUNITY, REALLY GETTING IDEAS FROM THE COMMUNITY AND GOING FROM THERE.

SO, WE HAVE A TWO-WAY DIALOGUE WITH THE COMMUNITY, THEY KNOW THAT, THEY KNOW THAT WE'RE OPEN TO LISTENING, AND I THINK THAT HAS REALLY BEEN UNIQUE AND AN IMPORTANT PART OF THIS PROJECT."

SEDONA POLICE OFFICER: "THIS IS THE FOURTH DAY THAT I'VE BEEN OUT HERE AND I'VE NOTICED GENERAL IMPROVEMENT NOT ONLY IN THEIR ABILITY TO BE ABLE TO HANDLE THE CONSTRUCTION, AS FAR AS THEIR DRIVING ABILITY, BUT ALSO JUST IN THEIR ATTITUDE TOWARDS IT, AND THE GENERAL GOODWILL, SO TO SPEAK."

TO LEARN HOW MODERN ROUNDABOUTS CAN RESULT IN FEWER CRASHES, LESS DELAY THAN SIGNALIZED INTERSECTIONS,
WHILE ALSO ADDING TO THE VISUAL APPEAL OF YOUR COMMUNITY,
CONTACT THE FEDERAL HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATION AND HIGHWAYS FOR LIFE OR VISIT THEIR WEBSITES.

[More info at: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/hfl/commtool.cfm]

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