The Butler County Engineer's
Office will construct its fourteenth modern roundabout, to be
located at the Yankee / Princeton Road intersection, as part
of the Yankee Road improvement that began earlier this month.
Roundabouts have become more common across the U.S. and particularly
here in Butler County where the first completed on a major County
road was at Lakota Drive West and Eagleridge Drive.
So how are they working
out? The Butler County Engineer's Office has compiled statistics
to date and found that its roundabouts have resulted in:
- 60 percent reduction
in overall crashes
- 80 percent fewer injury
- 100 percent reduction
in serious and fatal crashes
This compares with
a national average of 40, 75, and 90 percent respectively. So
Butler County's roundabouts are even outperforming the national
Butler County Engineer
Greg Wilkens has noted that "we've indeed found the modern
roundabout to be a safer, more efficient alternative to traditional
intersections at certain locations. The number and severity of
accidents have been substantially reduced where our roundabouts
have been installed, so they are doing their job."
There are many reasons
why BCEO Traffic Engineers identify a roundabout to be a good
solution to a problematic intersection. While not necessarily
the answer for every intersection, a roundabout may be determined
to be the least costly and most effective solution at certain
locations due to the roundabout's smaller "footprint,"
which requires less land and right-of-way acquisition. Turn lanes
can require more land acquisition and ongoing operation of signals
can drive up costs.
Moreover, there are
the roundabout's inherent safety features. Stop signs and signals
do not guarantee that motorists will stop. Roundabouts act as
traffic calming devices which force drivers to slow down. Any
accidents that may occur are almost always less severe.
improve the efficiency of traffic flow, they also reduce vehicle
emissions and fuel consumption. During peak traffic hours roundabouts
carry about 30 percent more vehicles than signalized intersections,
resulting in less stopping, fewer delays, and better fuel efficiency.
Wilkens added that
"roundabouts are not only safer, but we've found that motorists
tend to like roundabouts over signalized or two-way/four-way
stops because traffic continues to flow, albeit a bit slower,
versus stopping and waiting for a light to change or for traffic
to clear. And they feel safer."
One Butler County motorist
shared the following in a recent email to the BCEO: "As
a resident of Butler County, I would like to commend you on the
installation of roundabouts for traffic flow at intersections.
Having lived in the United Kingdom and Europe where they are
extensively used, I find them safer and better assist the flow
of traffic than regular stop intersections.... Keep up the good
Butler County's current
roundabout count stands at 19, which includes six neighborhood
traffic circles. The jurisdictional breakdown is:
- BCEO maintenance =
- Township maintenance
= 9 (Includes neighborhood traffic circles. BCEO was involved
with construction of three in commercial/retail locations.)
- ODOT = 1 (BCEO constructed
this roundabout at Layhigh Road and Ohio 748)
More roundabouts are
being planned within the next three years according to BCEO Traffic
Engineer Matt Loeffler, including:
How To Properly
Navigate A Roundabout
- Beckett Road at Smith
- Yankee Road at Millikin
- Hamilton Mason Road
at LeSourdsville West Chester Road
- Hamilton Mason Road
at Gilmore Road
- Ohio 73 at Jacksonburg
Road (to be constructed by ODOT)
While most drivers
prefer roundabouts once they get used to them, there is a learning
curve, but it's really quite simple. The BCEO would like offer
the following tips for navigating roundabouts safely and properly:
- When approaching a
roundabout, slow down and be prepared to yield to pedestrians
in the crosswalk.
- Pull up to the Yield
line, look to the left for approaching traffic within the roundabout.
Remember, circulating traffic has the right-of-way. Entering
traffic must yield the right-of-way to circulating traffic.
- Enter the roundabout
when there is an adequate gap in circulating traffic. Proceed
to your right. Vehicles travel counterclockwise around a raised
IN THE ROUNDABOUT
- Once in the roundabout,
drivers proceed counterclockwise to the appropriate exit, following
the guidance provided by traffic signs and pavement markings.
Once in the roundabout, you now have the right-of-way.
You shouldn't have to stop.
- Stay off the slightly
raised truck apron unless needed by a larger turning radius vehicle.
and Educational Material
- As you approach your
exit, use your right turn signal if possible.
- Watch for pedestrians
in the crosswalk and be prepared to yield.
- Slowly exit the roundabout.
For additional tips
and roundabout resources, please read About
Roundabouts on the BCEO's Traffic
Page. We also make available pre-printed brochures or downloadable
PDFs from our web site for distribution to schools and community
groups. These are great educational tools for motorists who may
be unfamiliar with how to properly navigate a roundabout. If
your school or organization would like pre-printed copies, please
contact the Engineer's Office at email@example.com.
# # #
For more information
Petrocy, BCEO Public Information Supervisor
Greg Wilkens, P.E., P.S.,
Butler County Engineer
Phone 513.867.5744 Fax 513.867.5849