Roundabouts are an alternative to the typical intersections we have become familiar with. While they may have been rare in the past, roundabouts are springing up throughout California, with three in Hayward and one in Fremont. With so many roundabouts appearing, there must be an advantage to them, so what are the benefits of a roundabout?
When there is a long line of cars sitting at an intersection, the idling cars continue to release emissions even though they are not going anywhere. Roundabouts reduce the time of idling by replacing stop signs with yield signs, which means that cars spend less time waiting to get to their destination.
Intersections with stoplights require constant energy and regular maintenance. On the other hand, Roundabouts need little to no upkeep once they are installed. The lack of upkeep to maintain a roundabout means more money that can be allocated to other city needs, like education.
Safer pedestrian crossing
A pedestrian needs to look for traffic from two different directions at intersections. Because they cannot see both ways at once, it is possible for a car to sneak up on a crossing pedestrian. Roundabouts instead have the traffic coming from one direction, making it easier for pedestrians to keep an eye on dangers, and the center of a roundabout also provides a refuge for people as they are crossing.
Reduction in reckless driving
Intersections allow reckless drivers to speed through the intersection if they are driving recklessly. Because roundabouts have an island in the center of them, drivers have to slow down to navigate around them, drastically reducing the instances of dangerous drivers.
The welcome changes to our roads
Roundabouts offer drivers cleaner air, savings on gas, safer crossing points for pedestrians, and fewer dangerous drivers. With so many benefits to offer, roundabouts are a welcome addition to our roads for a safer and cleaner future.