Licensed in Missouri and Kansas

3 Interesting Facts About The Benefits of Roundabouts v. Stoplights

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation there are approximately 5 million automobile accidents in the U.S. each year. Fortunately, only about 30% result in injury to the drivers or passengers. Unfortunately, many of those accidents lead to expensive repairs, expensive government fines, and in some situations expensive litigation.

To improve these numbers many communities across the country are turning to roundabouts to cut down on the number of overall accidents and especially the number of accidents resulting in injuries. While roundabouts are new and sometimes confusing to drivers not accustomed to navigating them, their benefits are backed up by real world data.

In this post we'll look at three areas in particular.

Roundabouts are Safer

The National Institute for Highway Safety reports that when a city replaces a traditional signal or stop sign intersection with a roundabout injury accidents are reduced by 72-80 percent and overall accident rates are reduced by 35-47 percent.

Multiple municipalities back up these numbers. For example, Carmel, Indiana, began replacing signal and stop sign intersections with roundabouts in the 1990s and now has more than 60 throughout the city, the most for any city in the U.S. Their data shows that intersection injury accidents are down 80% and overall intersection accidents are down by 40%.

This data alone should be enough to justify your city making similar changes. But there's more.

Roundabouts are Better for the Environment and Your Community

When cars idle at intersections they get zero miles per gallon as they burn through gas sitting still. This obviously harms the environment and your community. With roundabouts, cars virtually never idle. This leads to better gas mileage and less gas consumption overall. Further, less pollution entering the environment.

Communities also benefit from roundabouts as a result of calmer and more efficient traffic flows. With Carmel reporting a 30-50% increase in traffic capacity. Communities also receive more green space and aesthetic landscaping inside of the roundabouts.

Roundabouts are Cheaper

Lastly, in addition to cost savings on property damage, government fines, and litigation resulting from lower accident numbers, plus better gas mileage, roundabouts are cheaper to construct. To begin, there are no traffic lights to purchase, install, or calibrate. More importantly, the overall cost to build roundabouts is about $125,000 less than building a traditional signal or stop sign intersection, according to Carmel, IN.

What You Can Do

Sounds great, right? We think so too.

If you want to promote the construction of roundabouts in North Kansas City or elsewhere in the Kansas City area, you can contact your city council to show your support.

Contact information for the mayor and city council of North Kansas City is available here, while similar contact information for Kansas City, MO is available here.