Friday, July 21, 2017

A Roundabout is NOT a "Traffic Circle" or "Rotary" or the Winooski Ovalabout!

Pine Street Coalition proposes roundabouts--not traffic circles (they are large, like the Winooski "traffic circulator" and "rotary" is just another word for "traffic circle").  Roundabouts compared to traffic circles are very small and force vehicles to slow at entry by a curved "splitter island" which stomps down speeds and the tight circular travelway maintains the low speed pressure on the driver. 

You can see these features the photos here:  Pedestrian use crosswalks 25 feet away from the circular travelway and cross one direction of traffic at a time using  the median refuge area.  No pedestrian has yet been killed at the 5,000+ roundabouts in the U.S. and Canada!  During the same period since 1990 and the first roundabout two pedestrians were killed in crashes at the Burlington 75 traffic signals.  Roundabouts cut serious and fatal injuries at intersections by about 90% (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety research).  

See the first photo in this pdf which shows the first NY roundabout, a conversion of a traffic circle (rotary) and see the difference in size!  Check these out:

 Keck Circle, Main/Spring, Montpelier 1st Northeast Roundabout (1995)
The Queen City Roundabout would be about 170 feet in diameter at the bottom of Pine Street.  A mini roundabout at Pine/Flynn would fit in current curbs and have a circular mountable center "speed hump" center to larger vehicles could turn.   
Our first roundabout at the Shelburne "rotary"will be about 120 feet in diameter and you could fit 3+ of them inside the 200 by 500 foot Winooski traffic circulator which is about the size of Thunder Road in Barre. 

Also examples in the AARP Pine Street Workshop report.  AARP, Geico, AAA and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety all advocate replacing traffic signals with roundabouts and only roundabouts for new intersection investments. 


  1. A Roundabout is NOT a "Traffic Circle" or "Rotary" or the Winooski Oval about! A very well written article on this topic and the picture is super amazing to see.

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