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.