Roundabouts Vs. Traffic Signals



In a recent letter in the Roundup, the letter writer was fretting about more roundabouts being proposed in Payson. I travel through the present Highway 87 roundabouts at Airport and Tyler Parkway frequently and have come to appreciate them as huge time savers.

I found that I’m not the only one favoring them.

According to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, there are many safety benefits associated with the modern roundabout:

• 90 percent reduction in fatal crashes

• 75 percent reduction in injury crashes

• 30 to 40 percent reduction in pedestrian crashes

• 10 percent reduction in bicycle crashes

• 30 to 50 percent increase in traffic capacity

Other benefits to roundabouts were found to include:

• Reduction in fuel use and pollution

• No signal equipment to install and repair

• Quieter neighborhoods

So, here are a few simple guidelines to remember when driving through a roundabout:

• Slow down.

• If there’s more than one lane, use the left lane to turn left, the right lane to turn right, and all lanes to go through, unless directed otherwise by signs and pavement markings.

• Yield to pedestrians and bicyclists.

• Yield at the entry to circulating traffic.

• Stay in your lane within the roundabout and use your right-turn signal to indicate your intention to exit.

• Always assume trucks need lots of space — don’t pass them!

• Clear the roundabout to allow emergency vehicles to pass.

Kudos to the Payson Public Works department for their fresh ideas. And a safe and Happy New Year to you all!

Larry Brophy


Andy Towle 3 years ago

I lived in Germany for three years while in the Air Force. Traffic circles, or roundabouts were/are a way of life in Europe. I'm continously amazed at people in this country who resist change and look so negatively on everything that is different despite the statistical evidence of the method being safer and more cost effective.

If a safer and different way of doing something is put into practice why not look to the positive aspects of it instead of constantly whining about "This is the way we've always done it." Besides all the benefits mentioned in a previous letter since being educated to traffic circles in Europe I've found them a lot more fun to drive than stop signs; especially when a group of cars from all four directions fight for 'going first.'

Get over it.


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