The Central Connecticut Regional Planning Agency released a study on the benefits of rotaries, also called Roundabouts. They state they are becoming more widespread in American communities. While they are common in Europe, they are still widely underutilized in America. Roundabouts offer several advantages over traffic lights and all – way stops. First , they reduce the delay of vehicles at busy intersections by facilitating a continuous flow of traffic.
Since roundabouts do not force cars to stop (only yield) , they better handle the traffic peaks and lulls throughout the day. During peak hours, roundabouts help maintain a continuous traffic flow. During off peak hours, cars are not forced to stop at a stop sign or wait at a traffic light. Both of these scenarios offer significant de lay reduction. Delay reduction also reduces fuel consumption and emissions of air pollutants, including greenhouse gases (GHG) .
Growing concerns about pollution and reliance on foreign oil only make the case for roundabouts stronger. Second, roundabouts improve safety for both pedestrians and drivers. Because roundabouts limit turning movements and force traffic to drive.
The first intersection is Washington Street and Camp Street on the Bristol-Plainville town line. The intersection has three legs with Washington Street comprising the west leg, and Camp Street both north and east legs. The town line runs north – south along Camp Street.
The second intersection is Camp Street and Bradley Street located in Plainville, less than a half mile to the east of the first intersection . Camp Street comprises the west and southeast leg, while Bradley Street makes up the east leg. Both roads serve as feeders into Route 177 and its intersection with Route 72. Both intersections meet several of the aforementioned conditions for roundabout installation.
The report found that reconstruction of two three-way stop intersections as roundabouts would offer significant benefits. Delays and GHG emissions with roundabouts were determined to be between 40 and 75 percent lower than those of existing conditions . In addition, roundabout s at each location would substantially improve the level of service of all legs of the intersection.
While roundabouts are growing in popularity, they have yet to be used in Central Connecticut.
You can read the full report here.