More Roundabouts in Georgia Mean Safer Roads
MACON, GA. – October 22, 2018 (macon.com) According to an online news report from macon.com, more roundabouts have been popping up around Georgia, and the devices are bringing increased safety to the state’s roadways.*
Roundabouts are having a moment in the country and across Georgia. Macon-Bibb traffic engineer Nigel Floyd said the traffic devices are part of a national trend because of their potential to increase safety. Tyler Peek, a district traffic engineer for the Georgia Department of Transportation, says roundabouts reduce the number of “conflict points” at a standard intersection from 32 to eight.
“Conflict points are where you have the potential for a crash to occur,” Peek said. “Now, that doesn’t mean a crash will occur or is prone to occur. The opportunity exists because of the way the intersection is set up, because you’ve got multiple directions of travel, and depending on the intersection, you have multiple ways in which you can turn and navigate.”
Before 2014, five to six right-angle collisions occurred every year at the intersection of College and Oglethorpe in Macon-Bibb County. Since the installation of a roundabout at the intersection in 2014, not one right-angle collision has occurred. Besides safety improvements, roundabouts can also increase efficiency in an area because cars keep moving, rather than fully stopping, says Peek.
However, there are some disadvantages to the devices. Pedestrians generally have no crosswalks through a roundabout, and not all drivers know how to navigate through roundabouts.
“When we first started implementing them, a lot of people were confused on how to use them and thought they wouldn’t probably work,” Floyd said. “But I think since we’ve got roundabouts in and people are driving them, I think people feel safer going through an intersection rather than going through a traffic signal.”
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