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Wisconsin Roundabouts Calm Traffic, Improve School Zone Safety

This case study discusses the strategies employed by the Brown County Planning Commission in Green Bay, Wisconsin to increase public support for a planned roundabout near a school by using comprehensive outreach to school administrators, local elected officials, and local residents. Before the roundabout was built, the previous intersection had been declared too dangerous for children to walk or bike to school. When the design for a roundabout was proposed, many parents spoke out against the roundabouts, fearing they would make the area even more dangerous.

To overcome the negative opinion, staff held public meetings where concerned residents could ask questions of transportation planning and engineering representatives. The staff used these meetings to provide examples of successful roundabouts in areas with similar climates to Wisconsin. Additionally, the MPO planners invited students and school administrators to walk through the new intersection during its construction, telling them how it was going to work. Since the initial planning phase, the constructed roundabouts have increased safety performance in the area and it is no longer unsafe for children to walk or bike to school. Since the first pair of roundabouts were built, 26 additional roundabouts have been constructed in Brown County with support from the public.

Useful to: This study is useful to city officials interested in raising awareness and support for roundabouts being built in their jurisdiction, especially near a school where significant pedestrian traffic may be involved.

How to use: This study should be used to help city officials generate ideas to increase public support for roundabouts near schools.

Date of Publication: 
May 01, 2011

DMV Reaches Out to Drivers in Wisconsin with Roundabout Flyers in Mailings

This case study discusses the efforts of the Wisconsin DOT to increase public support and general knowledge of roundabouts through the publications of effective print and web public outreach. WisDOT started including a flyer when they mailed out new and renewed vehicle registrations and also developed an information sheet to include in Wisconsin Motorist's Handbook. In addition, agency staff created an informational video and an audio recording that were sent to all public and private driving schools, state representatives and senators, public TV stations, and many trucking firms.

To reach out to out-of-State drivers, WisDOT has included a panel on the State maps that can be found online and at welcome centers. Most of the calls WisDOT staff receive from citizens asking questions about roundabouts were made by someone who had received the flyer with their new registration. WisDOT staff are currently creating an information sheet to be included in the Wisconsin Commercial Vehicle Handbook to assist commercial vehicle drivers with navigating different types of roundabouts.

Useful to: This study is useful to State transportation officials interested in raising awareness and support for roundabouts in their jurisdictions.

How to use: This study should be used to help generate ideas for effective ways to build support for roundabouts statewide through reaching all registered drivers in a State with print outreach materials.

Date of Publication: 
May 01, 2011

Teaching Through Children: How Bend, Oregon Used Coloring Books to Communicate About Roundabouts

This case study discusses the efforts of the City of Bend, Oregon to increase public support of a proposed roundabout near a school through print and web products. They developed a variety of outreach products, primarily focusing on a coloring book that staff distributed at a nearby school along with a lesson plan for the teachers. Other products included a video, website, and brochures that were distributed to a wider audience. These products created public support and the roundabout near the school was built. The coloring books effectively raised awareness and support for roundabouts by engaging parents, who looked at the coloring books that their children brought home from school. The City learned that it is important to involve stakeholders, including school administrators and concerned parents, early on in a project in order to gain their support prior to beginning construction.

Useful to: This study is useful to transportation officials interested in raising awareness and support for the use of roundabouts in their jurisdictions, particularly near schools, through a unique outreach product such as a coloring book.

How to use: This study should be used to help generate ideas for effective ways to build support for roundabouts near schools.

Date of Publication: 
May 01, 2011

In Florida, Clearwater's Public Charrettes Produce Strong Support for Roundabouts

This case study discusses the technique of using "citizen design charrettes" for planning and designing new roundabouts in Clearwater, Florida. Charrettes generate positive public opinion by engaging affected individuals in the design process, directly taking their needs into consideration. The City of Clearwater informs the public of upcoming design events through television station announcements, newspaper advertisements, electronic message boards, automated phone messages sent to residents' home phones, announcements at neighborhood committee meetings, and hand-delivered flyers or direct-mail letters.

The charrette process is a 6-day affair that includes the facilitation team visiting the intersection along with those interested in traffic calming techniques; conducting focus groups with stakeholders to discuss project-related concerns; leading hands-on training with citizens about roundabout design considerations; facilitating a design focus group with citizens where they develop conceptual designs for the intersection; and lastly a session to present the consensus-based approach that the community developed for the intersection.

Through these sessions, the city has learned that greater public outreach and education can be reached by involving affected individuals from the very beginning. More impressively, since 1999, the city has successfully built 16 roundabouts using this process.

Useful to: This study is useful to city officials interested in raising awareness and support for roundabouts in their jurisdiction by engaging citizens in the design process for intersections, including roundabouts.

How to use: This study should be used to show city officials how involving affected citizens in the design process can have a positive effect on the community.

Date of Publication: 
May 01, 2011

Iowa DOT Provides "Expert-on-Hand" Technical Assistance to Promote Roundabouts Across the State

This case study discusses the benefits of Iowa Department of Transportation's (DOT) Traffic Engineering Assistance Program (TEAP), where Iowa DOT staff provide consulting services including roundabout analysis, design, and outreach support to small communities across the State. An Iowa DOT traffic safety engineer is available to assist qualifying agencies with design work as well as be available to answer questions at community meetings to help generate stakeholder support. Iowa DOT has also hosted two conferences that included activities such as presentations and discussions by Iowa DOT, Florida, Washington State, and Kansas engineers about their experiences, challenges, and lessons they have learned with regard to implementing roundabouts. Through these conferences, Iowa DOT has been able to change many engineers' perceptions on roundabouts. TEAP has also provided support for several projects that would not have been completed otherwise.

Useful to: This case study is useful to States that may consider starting a similar roundabout design and public outreach program.

How to use: This case study can be used to generate ideas about roundabout outreach and design programs that are run by State DOTs to help smaller communities.

Date of Publication: 
May 01, 2011

Washington County, MN Educates Drivers Through Roundabout U

This case study discusses the outreach strategies used by the Washington County, Minnesota Public Works Department to increase public support for a proposed multi-lane roundabout in the County. The main products used was a multi-faceted outreach program, entitled "Roundabout U," which incorporated a wide range of outreach materials including brochures, flyers, advertisements in newspapers, a video, and information on public engagement events, all hosted on a central website. All materials were tied together with a common "Roundabout U" logo. The program has been so successful that other counties have borrowed the materials found on the Roundabout U website and have invited Washington County Public Works Department staff to speak to their communities as roundabouts experts.

Useful to: This study is useful to transportation officials interested in raising awareness and support for roundabouts in their jurisdictions through multiple kinds of outreach materials to reach a broader audience.

How to use: This study should be used to help generate ideas for effective ways to build support for roundabouts.

Date of Publication: 
May 01, 2011

Seeing Is Believing: Missouri DOT Convinces Skeptics That Roundabouts Work

This case study discusses the efforts of Missouri's DOT to increase public support of roundabouts throughout the State through print and web public outreach. MoDOT generates support by visiting communities where roundabouts are planned and offering to give educational roundabout presentations. They have also posted a video called All About a Roundabout that can be found on YouTube.

MoDOT staff also speak to driver education classes about roundabouts. The agency has found that if young people are taught early about roundabouts, they can become champions, often teaching their parents about the benefits of roundabouts. The agency has also targeted older drivers by visiting places like community centers where elderly people might assemble. Through these techniques they have gained the support of many members of their communities, young and old, increasing the number of roundabouts in the Kansas City area to over two dozen.

Useful to: This study is useful to DOT officials who are interested in raising awareness and support for roundabouts in their state.

How to use: This study should be used by State agencies to help generate ideas for effective ways to build support at the community level by targeting specific demographic groups.

Date of Publication: 
May 01, 2011

Sioux Falls, South Dakota Conducts Roundabout Rodeo

This case study discusses the efforts of the City of Sioux Falls, South Dakota to gain public support for a roundabout during its construction phase by hosting a mock roundabout and answering questions during a radio broadcast. The city advertised the mock roundabout using announcements in newspapers and on television, at community meetings, and on the City website. At the event they educated the general public as well as emergency responders on how to navigate the roundabout safely. City engineers were available to answer questions at the event as well as on a radio broadcast shortly thereafter. City officials learned that it was best to set up the mock roundabout to the actual specifications of the proposed roundabout to ensure realism. It is also better to set up the mock roundabout as close as possible to the proposed roundabout to generate interest from those who will be most affected and encourage them to attend.

Useful to: This study is useful to local officials interested in hosting a mock roundabout to raise awareness and support for roundabouts being built in their jurisdictions.

How to use: This study should be used to help local officials generate ideas to increase public support about roundabouts in their jurisdiction.

Date of Publication: 
May 01, 2011

VDOT's Roundabouts Review Committee Spearheads Internal and External Outreach Efforts

This case study discusses how the Virginia DOT used a variety of methods to conduct public outreach and raise support for roundabouts. VDOT created several products to inform the general public, VDOT staff, and elected officials about roundabouts and their benefits, including a managed e-mail list that targeted interested VDOT employees, facts on the VDOT website, a presentation that could be used at public meetings, and an educational video about roundabouts that included a link to a brochure that answers drivers' questions. To raise support in areas where a roundabout was planned, VDOT staff submitted articles to local newspapers and magazines. The agency also updated the State's driving manual with tips on navigating roundabouts and added a section on roundabouts in the Virginia Board of Supervisors Manual. By using multiple forms of public outreach techniques, VDOT was able to reach a wide range of people. According to staff, areas where the general public opinion about roundabouts was negative were positively influenced by the Roundabouts Review Committee's presentation and supporting print and web products.

Useful to: This study is useful to State officials interested in raising awareness and support for roundabouts from the top down, educating both DOT staff members and the general public.

How to use: This case study should be used to help generate ideas for effective ways to build support for roundabouts statewide as well as within State DOT staff.

Date of Publication: 
May 01, 2011

Washington State Focuses on Outreach, Illustrates How to Drive a Roundabout

This case study discusses how Washington State DOT raised public support for roundabouts using a variety of outreach techniques. They first targeted their efforts at gaining the support of DOT decision-makers and then proceeded to gain buy-in from local officials in the areas where construction for a new roundabouts was planned. To reach the general public, WSDOT created a website with a printable brochure and a five-part video. The video and brochure are available online, at county libraries, and at driver education programs across the State. WSDOT also hosts events such as walkable mock roundabouts and roundabout rodeos to engage members of affected communities. WSDOT attributes the 200 roundabouts that have been built across the State to the success of its outreach techniques.

Useful to: This study is useful to State transportation officials interested in raising awareness and support for roundabouts in their jurisdiction through a variety of outreach products.

How to use: This study should be used to help generate ideas for effective ways to build support from DOT staff, local officials, and the general public for roundabouts statewide.

Date of Publication: 
May 01, 2011

Engaging the Public Through Print and Web Outreach: How Carmel, Indiana, Uses Innovative Media to Shape Public Perception of Roundabouts

This case study presents the approach used by the public agency staff in Carmel, Indiana to increase public support for the new roundabout design through the use of print and web public outreach. The City of Carmel, Indiana can be classified as a "roundabout city," with more than 60 roundabouts being built since 1999 with the full support of the public. Even with this resounding support, in 2007, the agency proposed building a series of tear-drop shaped roundabouts and developed a suite of outreach products to help educate citizens about this unique intersection design. With outreach efforts including a postcard, roundabout stickers, a video animation of the future corridor, a project website, and frequent community meetings, the city was successful in raising public opinion and support for the new roundabouts and construction was completed in 2010. Through this experience, the jurisdiction learned a few key lessons, including how valuable outreach is when started early and maintained throughout project construction and how facts and figures can be used successfully to make the case for roundabouts to citizens.

Useful to: This study is useful to transportation officials and engineers interested in raising awareness and support for roundabouts in their jurisdiction, particularly early-on in the roundabout planning process.

How to use: This study should be used to help generate ideas for effective ways to build support for roundabouts through print and web outreach.

Date of Publication: 
May 01, 2011

Virginia DMV Driver's Manual

Pages 15 and 16 of the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Driver's Manual discuss roundabouts and how they relate to Virginia drivers. The driver's manual describes a roundabout and includes a birds-eye view picture of a roundabout for clarity. It discusses the yielding rules and other safe practices that vehicles must follow on approach to a roundabout. The manual describes which lane a driver should be in upon entry to the roundabout in order to turn right, go straight, or turn left. It also includes a link to a site which answers many common questions drivers have regarding roundabouts.

Useful to: This manual is useful for any driver in Virginia that might encounter a roundabout.

How to use: Distribute the manual to Virginia residents who are renewing a driver's license or to students who are getting their first driver's license. Teachers could also discuss roundabout concepts during driver education classes in high school.

Date of Publication: 
December 17, 2010

Roundabout Animation videos

These animations were created by Wisconsin DOT Officials to help drivers navigate three multi-lane roundabouts that were closed concurrently for the intersection of US-41 and Mason Street in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The confusing nature of these roundabouts made this animation a valuable tool to help drivers "see and experience" the roundabouts before driving through them. The first video simulates a car turning left in the roundabout off of US-41 South, heading into the City onto Mason Street. The second video simulates a car leaving the city on Mason Street and turning left onto US-41 South through the roundabout.

Useful to: This is useful to City Officials to show the general public how to correctly navigate these roundabouts.

How to use: This should be made available online as well as at public meetings so drivers can feel more comfortable with these roundabouts. Drivers can watch the videos to gain an understanding of the safe usage and signs and features of roundabouts before they navigate them in real life.

Date of Publication: 
December 09, 2010

Roundabouts in Virginia Website

The website provides a broad range of information to Virginia drivers about roundabouts. It describes the benefits of replacing traditional signaled intersections with roundabouts, including reduced delays, crashes, fuel consumption, maintenance costs, and increased safety. It also presents ways in which modern roundabouts differ from traffic circles, which often cause backups since the cars in the circle don't have right of way. The website has detailed instructions for driving in a roundabout, including specifically making a right or left turn or going straight. Each set of instructions is accompanied by a diagram illustrating the car's path. The website also presents pictures of the signage a driver should expect to see around a roundabout and what each sign means. Finally, the website includes a section of links to Roundabout Facts which provide further information on the safety, benefits, and use of roundabouts.

Useful to: This website is useful for any driver in Virginia that might encounter a roundabout or wants to learn more about roundabouts.

How to use: Advertise the website to Virginia drivers through local newspapers, businesses, and the DMV. Teachers could reference roundabout concepts from this website during driver education classes in high school to reach younger drivers.

Date of Publication: 
July 01, 2010

Modern Roundabouts: A Safer Choice Video

This video, produced by the Federal Highway Administration's Office of Safety, provides the user with a detailed description of a roundabout, the benefits of installing roundabouts in any community, and some considerations that jurisdictions should investigate prior to the installation of a roundabout in their community. The video also discusses how public support can grow over time for roundabouts after their installation, and shares roundabout success stories from cities and States across the country.

Useful to: Transportation practitioners considering a roundabout in their jurisdiction who would like to better educate and raise awareness of roundabouts in their community.

How to use: Use this video to help raise awareness and support for a proposed roundabout in their community, and can play the video at public meetings, events with elected officials, and other appropriate venues to increase the public's knowledge of roundabouts.

Date of Publication: 
July 01, 2010
Publication Agency: 
FHWA

Roundabout Facts

This collection of Roundabout Facts includes 15 different PDFs which provide insight to Virginia drivers about a wide range of roundabout concepts. The fact sheets provide information on the benefits that roundabouts provide such as reductions in number and severity of crashes, improved visual quality around the intersection, reduced maintenance costs, and less pollution due to fewer stops and starts. The fact sheets also provide viewpoints from different roundabout user groups, such as older drivers and pedestrians. The fact sheets also provide information on the National Roundabout Conference and presentations, Google news alerts, and roundabout policy revisions. Additionally, there is an inventory of all the roundabouts in Virginia and their location and number of lanes.

Useful to: These fact sheets are useful to Virginia drivers and to elected officials/policy-makers who are considering constructing a roundabout. Some of the information provided addresses concerns of driving or walking through roundabouts safely, while other information addresses benefits of and policy related to constructing a roundabout.

How to use: Distribute resources or direct people to download resources from the website at the local DMV, retail stores, or post offices to reach local drivers. Also distribute at town council meetings to elected officials to increase understanding of the benefits of roundabouts in Virginia.

Date of Publication: 
July 01, 2010

All About a Roundabout Video

This video defines roundabouts and highlights ways in which roundabouts are different from traffic circles. The video also discusses the benefits of roundabouts, citing a reduction in the number and severity of crashes and the increased safety of pedestrians resulting from lower vehicle speeds and fewer potential vehicle-pedestrian conflict points. The video demonstrates the process for yielding, entering, and exiting the roundabout safely. It also highlights some variations in roundabouts in terms of the shape and number of entry/exit roads that exist. Finally, the video discusses social advantages such as reduced construction and maintenance costs, a more attractive intersection, reduced fuel consumption, and decreased emissions since vehicles don't have to stop and start.

Useful to: This video is useful to local residents of the State of Missouri and drivers from any State who have no experience with navigating roundabouts but who might encounter a roundabout.

How to use: Advertise the video through local newspapers and on State government websites to educate drivers who are looking for information on roundabouts. Play the video in DMV locations across the State for visitors to gain an understanding of the benefits and safe use of roundabouts.

Date of Publication: 
June 01, 2010

Wisconsin Department of Transportation Motorists' Handbook

To increase driver knowledge or roundabouts across the State, Wisconsin DOT now includes a section on roundabouts in their driver's manual. This includes information on single and multi-lane roundabouts, how to navigate them and general rules and characteristics of roundabouts that are relevant for Wisconsin drivers.

Useful to: This is useful to other State Officials who are interested in adding a section on roundabouts into their State driving manuals. It is also useful to Wisconsin drivers as a general introduction to safe use of roundabouts.

How to use: This should be made available in private and public driving schools, at public libraries, and online for drivers to use. Drivers can use this section of the driver's manual to increase their understanding of roundabouts and in preparing for a driver's license test.

Date of Publication: 
May 01, 2010

Round the Roundabout website

The website provides general information for motorists in the Kansas City, Missouri area about roundabouts. The website defines a roundabout and outlines some benefits or reasons why a roundabout might replace a traditional intersection. The website also provides tips for safe navigation through a roundabout and is accompanied by a diagram highlighting potential vehicle paths. There are also links to both a brochure and a video, both of which address common driver concerns associated with roundabouts.

Useful to: This website is useful to local residents of the Kansas City area who might encounter a roundabout.

How to use: Advertise the website through local newspapers to Missouri drivers, who can view the website to learn about roundabouts and their benefits.

Date of Publication: 
January 01, 2010

Board of Supervisors Manual 2010 (Roundabouts, page 60)

Page 60 of the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) Board of Supervisors Manual focuses on roundabouts. This section of the publication describes a procedure which has been used to compare roundabout designs with traditional signaled intersections, specifically focusing on the individual roundabout design and how it improves safety at an intersection. This is useful to VDOT and to Virginia cities and counties since it allows them to implement the roundabout design which maximizes safety for each individual intersection. The manual describes the approval process for a roundabout design for both an urban/primary system and a secondary system. The manual also includes a link to a website with more information about roundabouts.

Useful to: This manual is useful for transportation engineers and elected officials as they finalize roundabout design and begin construction to ensure proper processes and procedures are followed.

How to use: Distribute the manual to transportation engineers when they are hired by a city or county to design roundabouts.

Date of Publication: 
January 01, 2010

Round, Round, Get Around - Driving the Roundabout Way Brochure

The brochure provides general information about roundabouts for motorists in the Kansas City, Missouri area. The brochure defines a roundabout and outlines some benefits or reasons why a roundabout might replace a traditional intersection. It describes how roundabouts are safer, quicker for the driver, and more economical and attractive than traditional intersections. The brochure also provides steps for the safe navigation of a roundabout and provides a diagram with potential vehicle paths highlighted. The brochure also highlights the differences between roundabouts and traffic circles, which often result in backups since cars in the circle must yield to those entering.

Useful to: This brochure is useful to local residents of the Kansas City area who might encounter a roundabout.

How to use: Distribute the brochure with local newspapers or in the post office or local DMV.

Date of Publication: 
January 01, 2010

How to Get Around Flyer

The flyer provides steps for the safe approach, entry, and exit of a vehicle in a roundabout. The instructions are accompanied by a diagram with potential vehicle paths highlighted. The flyer emphasizes that drivers approaching the roundabout must yield to those already in the roundabout and wait for a gap in the traffic. It also describes the function of the splitter islands and lane stripes for ensuring that traffic moves in the correct direction. The instructions are useful to drivers who have had little interaction with roundabouts and might be confused about how they're expected to drive through one.

Useful to: This flyer is useful to local residents of the Kansas City area who might encounter a roundabout.

How to use: Distribute the flyer with local newspapers or in the post office or local DMV to increase public awareness about using roundabouts. The flyer would also be useful to elected officials who might be trying to convince their locality to implement a roundabout for its safety benefits.

Date of Publication: 
January 01, 2010

Roundabout U: A Step-by-Step Guide to Driving a Multi-Lane Roundabout Brochure

The Step-by-Step Guide is a brochure that explains to drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists how to navigate a multi-lane roundabout. It presents precise steps that detail how a driver should navigate a multi-lane roundabout including signs the driver will see at each step. Accompanying the written steps, the brochure has a diagram that indicates the approximate location in the roundabout where the driver will perform each of the steps.

Useful to: This brochure is useful to anyone who may encounter a multi-lane roundabout while driving, cycling, or walking.

How to use: This brochure should be given to people who may encounter a roundabout as a driver, cyclist, or a pedestrian such as a resident in an area where a roundabout is planned. A driver, cyclist, or pedestrian who read the brochure would be able to more comfortably and safely navigate the roundabout.

Date of Publication: 
September 01, 2009

City of Sioux Falls Engineering News, featuring the Roundabout Rodeo Newsletter Article

The newsletter describes the opening of the city of Sioux Falls, South Dakota's first roundabout. It describes the physical location of the roundabout, the roads and buildings it will serve, and the expected completion date. The newsletter describes yielding rules and other concepts for the safe use of a roundabout. The newsletter article also discusses benefits that local residents should expect to realize from the roundabout, including fewer accidents, lower speeds, and elimination of stops and starts. Finally, the article discusses the "Roundabout Rodeo," which Sioux Falls hosted in August 2008, where drivers and pedestrians could drive through a mock roundabout. This allowed residents to gain experience using roundabouts and interacting with other vehicles and pedestrians at roundabouts, making them more comfortable with driving through the new roundabout once constructed. The article also includes a diagram of the roundabout being constructed and a picture of the mock roundabout made from cones.

Useful to: This newsletter is useful to residents of Sioux Falls, South Dakota to understand the proposed design, how to navigate the roundabout, and the anticipated completion date of the roundabout being constructed.

How to use: Distribute the newsletter with local newspapers or at local places such as coffee shops, retail stores, or the DMV. Local drivers who read the article will gain an understanding of the location and proper use of the proposed roundabout in Sioux Falls. They will additionally understand that fellow citizens have used and approved a mock roundabout, which will most likely increase their approval of the real roundabout when it opens to traffic.

Date of Publication: 
October 01, 2008

Roundabouts: Five-Part Video Series

These videos were produced by Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) to inform drivers, pedestrians, and cyclist how to navigate a roundabout and why they are safer then signalized intersections. The videos also discuss how roundabouts are different from traffic circles or rotaries. The second video, focusing on roundabout navigation, discusses the differences between single and multi-lane roundabouts. The fourth video, highlighting safety, includes statistical crash quotes from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety for intersections converted to roundabouts which provide strong proof for implementing and using roundabouts.

Useful to: These videos are useful to State and local officials interested in raising awareness and support for roundabouts in their jurisdiction.

How to use: These videos should be shown at public meetings and available online to act as a resource for the general public about roundabouts. The general public can view them to understand rules of navigating roundabouts and to understand their benefits over traditional intersections.

Date of Publication: 
July 01, 2008

Modern Roundabouts: A Safer Choice Brochure

This brochure, produced by the Federal Highway Administration's Office of Safety, provides a brief introduction into what a roundabout is, why States and local jurisdictions should consider installing roundabouts in their communities, and touches on some of the proven benefits of roundabouts. Additionally, the brochure provides some graphics that describe the benefits of roundabouts in a manner that is easy to understand and describe to the public. The brochure provides three success stories from cities across the country and a brief overview on how to drive through a roundabout.

Useful to: This brochure is useful to transportation practitioners interested in raising awareness and support for roundabouts in their jurisdiction.

How to use: Distribute this brochure at public meetings, mock roundabouts, meetings with elected officials, and other public engagement opportunities to support education about roundabouts.

Date of Publication: 
May 01, 2008
Publication Agency: 
FHWA

All About Wisconsin Roundabouts Video

This video, produced by Wisconsin Department of Transportation, is a helpful explanation of the characteristics of roundabouts, the safety benefits of roundabouts, and information on how to correctly navigate a roundabout. The video first explains how a modern roundabout is dissimilar from a rotary or a traffic circle. It also compares roundabouts to intersections, explaining why roundabouts are safer. The video explains how to navigate both single and multi-lane roundabouts. Lastly, the video explains how bicycles and pedestrians can navigate roundabouts safely.

Useful to: This video is useful to transportation officials who are interested in raising public opinion of roundabouts in their jurisdiction. It is also useful to members of the general public who are interested in learning more about roundabouts.

How to use: This video can be shown at public meetings or other places like libraries to raise awareness and support for roundabouts. The video could be available on the WisDOT website and youTube so that interested drivers can view it over the web.

Date of Publication: 
March 03, 2008

Sioux Falls Roundabout website

The website defines roundabouts and highlights differences from traditional rotaries or traffic circles. It offers reasons to consider implementing a roundabout including improved safety, reduced congestion, pollution, and fuel use, and monetary savings. The website also directs viewers to four additional resources including a comprehensive brochure, which outlines the safety benefits through a reduction of collision points, safe practices for walking or biking through a roundabout, and tips for normal motorists to safely navigate the roundabout. Other resources provide answers to frequently asked questions about roundabouts and an informative video.

Useful to: This website is useful to local residents of the State of South Dakota who might encounter a roundabout.

How to use: Advertise the website and additional resources through newspaper advertisements to State residents. Residents and drivers can use the website to stay updated on roundabouts being constructed in their areas and to increase their understanding of the benefits and use of roundabouts.

Date of Publication: 
January 01, 2008

Pedestrian Safety at Roundabouts Presentation for Howard-Suamico School Board

This presentation was used by Brown County Planning Commission planners and engineers to generate support from local citizens, city officials, and school officials for the construction of two roundabouts near two local schools. The presentation focused on why roundabouts were safer for pedestrians due to the proximity to the schools. The staff used pictures of roundabouts and signalized intersections to emphasize how much more exposed pedestrians are in a signalized intersection.

Useful to: This would be useful to City and school officials at local meetings to generate support for roundabouts at intersections near schools or with high volumes of pedestrians. It would also be useful to the general public to show them tips on how pedestrians should navigate a roundabout.

How to use: This presentation should be used at local meetings where a roundabout is planned. A local resident could use the presentation to gain an understanding of the use of roundabouts and to explain how roundabouts are safer than signalized intersections for both pedestrians and drivers.

Date of Publication: 
November 26, 2007

Streets and Sidewalks, People and Cars: The Citizens Guide to Traffic Calming

This book provides tools for citizens and city officials of Clearwater, Florida to evaluate their neighborhood streets' safety and, if necessary, implement new road features to increase safety. The book suggests that the best method for improving road safety is to involve all community members and local elected officials, since this will maximize available resources and address the most concerns. In support of this theory, the book was used to stimulate discussion during the Clearwater charette process, in which citizens were asked for input prior to implementing new traffic calming measures. The book discusses more than 20 traffic calming measures with photographs and diagrams and it includes forms to evaluate current street safety. Finally, the book provides instructions on how to begin implementing traffic calming measures in the community. Overall, Streets and Sidewalks, People and Cars is a helpful resource for communities looking to improve the safety of their streets.

Useful to: This book would be useful to both local citizens and elected officials. Local citizens need to be aware of and provide support for changes being made to traffic patterns and road layouts. But elected officials often carry the power and resources necessary to implement road changes once they are supported by the public. This resource would be useful to educate both groups about the possible traffic calming measures that could be taken, and the necessary steps to implement them.

How to use: Place copies of the book in local libraries, DMV locations, and other government-related locations to reach elected officials who are considering implementing traffic calming measures. Also, advertise the book for sale in bookstores near Clearwater, Florida to reach the general public who might be skeptical or uneducated about roundabouts.

Date of Publication: 
January 01, 2007

How About a Roundabout? The Minnesota Experience Video

This video, produced by Minnesota Department of Transportation (Mn/DOT), provides general information on roundabouts, their benefits, and how to navigate through this type of intersection safely. The video distinguishes modern roundabouts from older traffic circles which often produced larger backups than they ever mitigated. It explores current roundabouts in Minnesota while highlighting the potential for new roundabouts in the State. The video discusses many roundabout benefits, including improved safety, less wasted time at stoplights for drivers, and reduced emissions into the environment. The video is a comprehensive product for viewers to learn about roundabouts.

Useful to: This video is useful to the general public, presenting information on the design and use of roundabouts. It is also useful to elected officials because it discusses the many advantages that roundabouts provide to a community.

How to use: This video would act as an aid to the general public in explaining how to safely drive through roundabouts. The video could be advertised on the Mn/DOT website, and presented to people who search online for information about roundabouts or Minnesota roads. The video could also be shown to elected officials at meetings so that they are all aware of the benefits roundabouts provide.

Date of Publication: 
January 01, 2007

Washington County's Roundabout U General Information Website

The Roundabout U website offers users a bunch of information organized into six sections: Benefits, Step by Step Guide, Navigation, Characteristics, Summary Video, and Frequently Asked Questions. By clicking on the "Benefits" link, the user is given a list of benefits of roundabouts including, generally, improved operations, design, maintenance, environment, and safety. Plus, the website presents two charts showing reductions in the number and severity of crashes when roundabouts are used over traditional signaled intersections. The Step-by-Step Guide is brochure that explains to drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists how to navigate a multi-lane roundabout. The Navigation webpage offers many resources to car drivers, truck drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists including simulations for everyone. The Characteristics webpage is another resource users can use that uses a drawing of a roundabout to explain its characteristics. The Summary Video (linked from the main website) is a wrap up highlighting the safety, navigation, and general information regarding roundabouts.

Useful to: This site is useful to anyone who may encounter a roundabout while driving, cycling, or walking.

How to use: This site offers many avenues to explore the essential information about safety, navigation, and general characteristics. It should be shown to anyone that is concerned about roundabout safety or navigation.

Date of Publication: 
January 01, 2007

Roundabouts: VDOT Answers Your Questions Brochure

This brochure provides information to Virginia drivers about a wide range of roundabout concepts. The brochure discusses benefits of roundabouts including reducing traffic delays and severity of crashes. It also covers differences between roundabouts and traditional traffic circles which often took up substantial space and worsened traffic. The brochure identifies some traditional signs a driver could expect to see near a roundabout. Finally, the brochure offers diagrams and instructions for drivers to make a right turn, go straight, and make a left turn when using a roundabout.

Useful to: This brochure is useful to Virginia drivers who might encounter a roundabout. The brochure is also useful to elected officials to help them understand the benefits to their community from constructing a roundabout.

How to use: Provide a brochure download link to Virginia drivers who visit the State DOT website or who search for information about roundabouts online. Distribute brochure at the local DMV, retail stores, or post offices.

Date of Publication: 
January 01, 2005

WSDOT: How to drive a roundabout website

This website was created by Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) to inform residents of Washington about roundabouts. It offers navigational information for single and multi-lane roundabouts as well as tips for trucks and oversize vehicles. The website also includes links to two informational brochures and videos about navigating single and multi-lane roundabouts.

Useful to: This is useful to any driver, cyclist, or pedestrian interested in learning more about roundabouts including design, benefits, and proper use of roundabouts.

How to use: This site should be given out as a reference for people to use to learn more about roundabouts. Members of the general public could view the site to learn exactly how to use a roundabout safely as a motorist, cyclist, and pedestrian or to locate roundabouts in their area of the State.

Date of Publication: 
January 01, 2005

Lineville Road Roundabout Footage

This video was produced by the Brown County Planning Commission to illustrate the successful use of a roundabout by showcasing several scenarios that the public may be concerned about. The video shows Lineville Road when it was just a four way stop and after construction where it was made into a roundabout. The video illustrates that traffic flow is much smoother with the roundabout. It also shows a fire truck and a semi-tractor trailer navigating the roundabout to demonstrate that the roundabout is capable of handling all types of traffic.

Useful to: This video is useful to City officials who would like to raise support for roundabouts in their jurisdiction when they have met with a lot of skepticism from people in their area.

How to use: This video can be played at public meetings as a tool to overcome people's skepticism about the safety, efficiency, and capabilities of a roundabout.

Date of Publication: 
April 10, 2003

Lineville Road Roundabout Study

This Case Study discusses the benefits of building two roundabouts on Lineville Road in Green Bay, Wisconsin to decrease the speed of vehicles traveling in front of Bay View Middle School and Forest Glen Elementary School. The new intersections were compared to the alternative, a large signalized intersection, based on vehicular, bicycle, and pedestrian safety. The intersection design alternatives were also compared based on cost, maintenance and traffic capacity. In all comparisons, the modern roundabout was better than a signalized intersection. As examples, the roundabout intersection reduces conflict points significantly from a signalized intersection (from 56 to 16) and the required crossing distance for pedestrians is reduced.

Useful to: This Case Study is useful to city officials to use as an example of the successful implementation of roundabouts near a school.

How to use: This Case Study should be used as an example of successful implementation of roundabouts near schools to raise support for new roundabouts. Elected officials from other localities could use this case study as an example to gain support for building roundabouts in their own towns. It would add validity to the official's argument that a roundabout would be worth the investment.

Date of Publication: 
November 01, 2001

CarmelLink video player (Virtual Drive-through Simulation Video, Project Update Videos)

This video simulation aims to help Carmel, Indiana roadway users visualize a local parkway after roundabouts have been constructed to improve traffic flow along the corridor. The simulation highlights six intersections across a stretch of the Keystone Avenue Parkway, a major four-lane highway in Carmel, Indiana. For each intersection, the video shows a snapshot of the existing intersection with traffic lights, a rendering of the new roundabout intersection, and a simulation of driving both in the roundabout and driving underneath it to bypass it. This allows viewers to see not only the design and layout of the proposed intersection but also its expected traffic flow and lane markings.

Useful to: This video would be useful to city government officials and to local Carmel, Indiana citizens. It is a great resource to use to gain support from city officials who might control whether the roundabouts are constructed while also serving as a strong resource to convince local drivers of the benefits provided by the roundabouts.

How to use: Present video at community meetings or direct local residents to this website through local newspapers or flyers.

Roundabouts - Another Safe Intersection Brochure

This brochure presents instructions for how to use a roundabout as a pedestrian, cyclist, motorist, and truck driver. This brochure from Bend, Oregon includes diagrams and detailed steps for yielding, entering, choosing a lane, and exiting a roundabout for drivers of various types of vehicles. It also illustrates the safest way for pedestrians to cross a roundabout intersection by using the splitter islands as refuge areas.

Useful to: This brochure would be useful to motorists, cyclists, pedestrians, and truck drivers who might encounter a roundabout.

How to use: This brochure is easy to use since it includes many diagrams and pictures. Users can just glance at the appropriate diagram and quickly read the short suggestions to understand the expectations of all other motorist types in a roundabout.

Roundabouts - Another Safe Intersection Website

This website provides a general overview of current local roundabout projects and other roundabout information to residents of Bend, Oregon. The website includes information on the history of roundabouts in the City of Bend since 2003. It also includes answers to frequently asked roundabout questions, covering topics such as yielding, pedestrians and bicyclists, large vehicles, and appropriate speeds in roundabouts. The website includes links to the other resources created in the case study: a bicyclist brochure, a general information brochure, roundabout videos, a child's activity book; and a roundabout lesson plan. Finally, the website directs users to local roundabout design guidelines that aid in analyzing existing roundabouts and designing new ones.

Useful to: This website is useful to local drivers who want to learn more about roundabouts and stay informed about current roundabout construction in Bend. The website is also useful to engineers and elected officials since it includes information on the design guidelines in place for roundabouts.

How to use: This website should be advertised to drivers at the local DMV or through mailings or local newspapers. The website should also be suggested when a person makes an online search for terms such as "Oregon roundabout(s)" or "Bend, Oregon road work." The website should also be presented to elected officials and engineers at community meetings to guide them in choosing to implement and then design roundabout intersections.

Roundabouts - Another Safe Intersection Child's Activity Book

This children's coloring book includes information for elementary-school children about the terminology, signs, and safe use of roundabouts. It is organized into five lessons that cover basic roundabout terminology, signage near roundabouts, pedestrian crossings, safe use of a roundabout as a bicyclist, and how to react to an emergency vehicle in a roundabout. The main focus throughout all chapters is the increased safety of a roundabout intersection. After each lesson, there is a quick quiz to help emphasize the concepts covered. This book helps to teach children about roundabouts through its appealing coloring book medium. The book is available to local school-aged children at elementary schools in Bend and to any driver or pedestrian on the web.

Useful to: This book is useful to elementary school children and their parents since it presents important information about roundabouts in a fun and engaging way. It is especially important for children that will be using roundabouts as a pedestrian or cyclist, since they will need to understand how a roundabout works to safely traverse it.

How to use: This book should be used by children and parents together so that parents can explain or reinforce concepts to the child. The book should also be completed in sequence, making sure that a quiz is taken after studying that corresponding chapter. The book could be passed out to children at school or to parents at school conferences, and it could be made available through local libraries.

Roundabouts and Bicyclists - Making Safe Choices Brochure

This brochure presents instructions for how to use a roundabout as a cyclist. Successful navigation through roundabouts can seem complicated when there are many different types of vehicles and pedestrians using them together. This brochure from Bend, OR includes diagrams and detailed steps for cyclists to safely maneuver through the roundabout, whether acting as a pedestrian (i.e., walking with their bicycles in the crosswalks) or as a vehicle (i.e., riding their bicycles and using the travel lanes). Cyclists must take extra precaution to claim a lane and be sure they are seen by other motorists in the roundabout. Roundabouts have proven to reduce the severity of crashes, but it requires extra cooperation and preparation from cyclists in order to maximize safety of all users.

Useful to: This brochure is useful to cyclists, pedestrians, and motorists. It's important for cyclists themselves to understand how to correctly navigate a roundabout but it's equally important for other roundabout users to understand the actions and expectations of cyclists when navigating a roundabout.

How to use: This brochure is easy to understand, since it includes a large diagram of a roundabout and models a cyclist's steps for entering and exiting a roundabout. A quick glance will provide any reader with enough information to safely navigate a roundabout.

Roundabouts - Another Safe Intersection Lesson Plan

This lesson plan serves as a supplement to the coloring book, Roundabouts - Another Safe Intersection Child's Activity Book, from Bend, Oregon, which focuses on the terminology, signs, and safe use of roundabouts. The lesson plan follows the same format as the activity book, but it includes the answers to each activity and quiz. The lesson plan covers basic roundabout terminology, signage near roundabouts, pedestrian crossings, safe use of a roundabout as a bicyclist, and how to react to an emergency vehicle in a roundabout. This is an excellent resource for parents and teachers to use with their children to teach basic roundabout safety concepts.

Useful to: This lesson plan is useful to elementary school teachers and parents of school-aged children, since it includes the correct answers to the child's activity book. It allows parents and teachers to support and check that their children are learning from each lesson. It is especially important for parents and teachers of children that will be using roundabouts as a pedestrian or cyclist, since they will need to understand how a roundabout works to safely traverse it.

How to use: This lesson plan should be used by parents and teachers so that they have the information and understanding necessary to explain roundabout safety concepts to the child. The lesson plan should be completed in the same sequence as the child's activity book so that immediate feedback is available to the child. The lesson plan and corresponding child's activity book could be passed out to parents at school conferences and they could also be made available through local libraries.

City of Carmel Roundabouts - Improving the Quality of Life Brochure

This brochure aims to educate the general public of Carmel, Indiana about the use and benefits of replacing traditional intersections with roundabouts. It presents a broad range of information on roundabouts including potential design considerations (layout), approach and exit guidelines, and statistics about their proven benefits. Some of the benefits discussed in the brochure include pollution reduction, safety, cost cutting, and improved traffic flow. The brochure also includes some of the common signs that a motorist would encounter at or near a roundabout warning about the roundabout itself, yielding, or pedestrian crosswalks. The brochure states that installation of local roundabouts had reduced accidents with injury by 78 percent, a convincing statistic for increasing local residents' support for roundabouts.

Useful to: This brochure would be beneficial to any user of a roundabout. It provides general information about the layout, use, and benefits of roundabouts.

How to use: This brochure could be distributed to the local residents through local newspaper delivery, community meetings, or on bulletin boards in retail locations.

CarmelLink Roundabout Project Website

This website provides a general overview of the Keystone Avenue Reconstruction Project in Carmel, Indiana. The website describes general information about the plans and timeline of the project, provides a description and picture for each intersection that will be affected, and the many benefits that the roundabouts will bring. The site also includes answers to some frequently asked questions and detailed instructions for driving safely in the new roundabouts, since they aren't "traditional" roundabouts. The roundabouts being constructed are raised over the existing Keystone Avenue Parkway and they are shaped more like figure-eights to be able to stretch over the parkway. Finally, the site includes current news updates relevant to the project and contact information for site visitors with questions or other concerns. The website is a comprehensive informative resource for residents of and visitors to Carmel, Indiana to learn more about the roundabout construction.

Useful to: This website would be useful to residents of and visitors to Carmel, Indiana to keep them informed about the schedule and progress of the Keystone Avenue Reconstruction Project. It also provides invaluable instructions for these users to safely drive through the roundabouts. The website is also useful to city officials and project managers in helping ensure that they stick to the schedule and are accurately informing citizens of updates.

How to use: Advertise the website in local newspapers, retail locations, or coffee shops to keep citizens informed about the project progress; also, advertise the website at community meetings for local officials to stay informed and to maintain ongoing support for the project.

Traffic Calming Intersection & Mid-Block Treatment Matrices

These fact sheets outline five intersection strategies and five mid-block pedestrian crossing strategies used in Clearwater, Florida to improve safety on roads. The fact sheet includes a description of each strategy illustrating its general uses. Some of the strategies included are curb extensions, refuge islands, raised intersections, roundabouts, chokers, medians, and chicanes (curb extensions that alternate from one side of the street to the other to form S-shaped curves). For each strategy, the fact sheet also includes two example pictures and a rendering of a birds-eye view of the feature. Finally, for each strategy, costs and benefits are discussed and construction costs and durations, possible characteristics of the feature, and ways in which the feature might reduce a vehicle's speed or increase safety are highlighted. Overall, these fact sheets provide great information about the various features that can be added at intersections or mid-block crossings to increase safety.

Useful to: These fact sheets might be useful to public policy-makers who are considering ways of reducing vehicle speed over a stretch of road or at an intersection. The policy-maker might decide to implement one of the strategies mentioned after considering its costs and expected benefits.

How to use: Distribute to city officials at local council meetings or other public policy-related functions.

Roundabouts and Traffic Calming Website

This website, created by Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT) and Brown County Planning Commission, offers users a wide variety of material on roundabouts. For example, there is pedestrian safety information in the form of a presentation. The Wisconsin Experience Video discusses the general benefits of roundabouts, explains how to navigate them, and provides examples of roundabouts already implemented. Case studies of the Lineville Road roundabout as well as other roundabouts in Brown County offer examples of successful roundabout implementations.

Useful to: This site is useful to anyone interested in learning more about roundabouts, especially those in Brown County.

How to use: This site should be given out as a reference for people to use to learn more about roundabouts. Additionally, the website should be suggested to a person who searches online for roundabouts, traffic calming, Green Bay traffic, or Wisconsin DOT.

Traffic Engineering Assistance Program (TEAP) website

The website provides information regarding assistance that the Iowa DOT provides to local government officials in small cities in Iowa to implement traffic safety improvements. The website presents the scope of the TEAP - to provide recommendations to improve traffic safety and operations in a city or county and to provide potential funding sources - and the types of transportations studies that are typically funded. It includes guidelines about who is eligible to request funding (typically cities and counties with less than 35,000 people), what will be expected of the locality if selected, how many hours of consulting service can be funded, and information about the application, letter of request explaining the problem, and a timeline of request approval.

Useful to: This website is useful to local government officials in Iowa cities or counties who are in need of funding to mitigate a traffic-related risk or safety concern and who would like to learn about IDOT's TEAP program.

How to use: Advertise the website and TEAP program itself to elected officials from cities and counties in Iowa who could be requesting TEAP assistance. The website could additionally be advertised at community meetings to reach engineers and other elected officials as a way to garner their support or input on using TEAP resources.

Rules of the Roundabout Brochure

This brochure, from Washington State, begins by describing the many safety benefits of roundabouts such as a reduction in frequency and severity of crashes due to fewer conflict points. The brochure provides detailed instructions for a driver to safely navigate a roundabout, including diagrams illustrating a car's path for turning right and left and for going straight through the roundabout. It describes guidelines for safely navigating around a roundabout as a pedestrian or a cyclist. The brochure has pictures of various signs a driver will see when near a roundabout with tips for safely abiding by the sign. Finally, the brochure discusses further benefits of roundabouts including improved traffic flow, reduced pollution and emissions, and increased green-space over a traditional signaled intersection. The brochure is a useful guide to drivers who are not used to roundabout intersections.

Useful to: This brochure is useful to Washington State drivers who might encounter a roundabout; because it focuses heavily on safe navigation through roundabouts it is probably most useful to drivers inexperienced with roundabouts. It is useful to elected officials as well who are weighing the costs and benefits of constructing roundabouts in their localities.

How to use: Distribute brochure at the local DMV, retail stores, or post offices.

Roundabout Characteristics Flyer

This flyer, produced by Minnesota Department of Transportation (Mn/DOT), provides a comprehensive, labeled diagram of a roundabout. The flyer has a large color illustration of a roundabout with labels indicating the features of a roundabout, such as the yield line, truck apron, and pedestrian crosswalk. It also includes pictures of most of the signs a driver would see near a roundabout with a detailed description of the "Lane Use" sign. The flyer also includes descriptions of the features labeled on the diagram, with tips for safe driving and walking through a roundabout.

Useful to: This flyer is useful to the general public. Drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists can benefit from the information on the flyer when they encounter a roundabout.

How to use: This flyer should be distributed to the general public through the local DMV or libraries. All user groups can use the flyer to increase their understanding of the rules of driving and walking through roundabouts.

Roundabouts - Frequently Asked Questions Brochure

This brochure addresses many common questions and concerns about roundabouts for Washington State drivers. The brochure demonstrates through drawings and instructions how to make a left or right turn, how to go straight, and how to make a U-turn in a roundabout. It also addresses changing lanes, appropriate driving speeds, yielding, collisions, and using a roundabout on foot or on a bicycle. The brochure explains the time, space, cost, environmental, and safety benefits that roundabouts provide. It also provides insight on the differences between roundabouts and traditional traffic circles and addresses concerns of business owners who fear that a roundabout might reduce the ease with which a customer can visit their store.

Useful to: This brochure is useful to Washington State drivers who might encounter a roundabout.

How to use: Distribute brochure at the local DMV, retail stores, or post offices to reach citizens looking for information on roundabouts.

Iowa Goes Roundabout website

The website provides significant information to residents of the State of Iowa regarding the benefits, construction, rules, and myths of roundabouts. It has answers to numerous "frequently asked questions" that drivers new to the roundabout concept might have, especially regarding associated driving rules and suggestions for safe use by pedestrians, cyclists, truck drivers, and other unique user groups. The site provides information about other successful roundabouts and includes a map that identifies the locations of all roundabouts in Iowa. Finally, the website presents basic definitions for the features and elements of a roundabout and provides resources for more information.

Useful to: This website is useful to elected officials and transportation engineers in Iowa who will implement a roundabout. It is also useful to drivers in Iowa since it outlines the driving rules and features of roundabouts for those who have little experience with them.

How to use: Distribute the website link to city officials and engineers at local council meetings or other public policy-related functions. Advertise the website to local drivers through newspaper advertisements or online.