How do roundabouts affect traffic flow?
Several studies conducted by the Institute and others have reported significant improvements in traffic flow following conversion of traditional intersections to roundabouts. A study of three intersections in Kansas, Maryland, and Nevada, where roundabouts replaced stop signs, found that vehicle delays were reduced 13-23 percent and the proportion of vehicles that stopped was reduced 14-37 percent.5 A study of three locations in New Hampshire, New York, and Washington, where roundabouts replaced traffic signals or stop signs, found an 89 percent average reduction in vehicle delays and a 56 percent average reduction in vehicle stops.6 A study of 11 intersections in Kansas found a 65 percent average reduction in delays and a 52 percent average reduction in vehicle stops after roundabouts were installed.7

A recent Institute study documented missed opportunities to improve traffic flow and safety at 10 urban intersections suitable for roundabouts where either traffic signals were installed or major modifications were made to signalized intersections.8 It was estimated that the use of roundabouts instead of traffic signals at these 10 intersections would have reduced vehicle delays by 62-74 percent. This is equivalent to approximately 325,000 fewer hours of vehicle delay on an annual basis.

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1. What is a roundabout?
2. How do roundabouts differ from older traffic circles and rotaries?
3. How do roundabouts affect safety?
4. What are the features of a good roundabout designs?
5. What are the common types of crashes at roundabouts? What can be done to prevent them?
6. How do roundabouts affect traffic flow?
7. Are there other benefits?
8. Can roundabouts accommodate larger vehicles?
9. How do roundabouts affect older drivers?
10. Are roundabouts safe for pedestrians?
11. Do drivers favor roundabouts?
12. What are the impediments to building roundabouts?
13. How common are roundabouts in the United States?
14. Do roundabouts require more space than traditional intersections?
15. What are appropriate locations for roundabouts?
16. What types of intersections may not be good candidates for roundabouts?