I was in Europe over the summer and one of the things I enjoyed was driving through the roundabouts. I love roundabouts! Or traffic circles, if you prefer (but I don’t). I believe they are more fuel efficient, safer and a less polluting option than four-way stops and other intersections.
The logic goes - because drivers aren’t stopping, less vehicle emissions are produced. When a constant speed is maintained, there is no spike in emissions due to stopping and starting. Higher fuel efficiency is therefore attained – and in the city too! With the vehicle already running, engine noise is rather lower than starting from a complete stop. No doubt this would be appreciated by homeowners!
What about safety? Can roundabouts also be safer? According to Transport Canada, total crashes are reduced by 35% and injury crashes by 74% when compared with stop-controlled and signalized intersections. Roundabouts can reduce not only the frequency of collisions (crashes or accidents – however, there are no accidents and that’s a topic for another day!), but also their severity. Even more support for my position!
Other benefits include traffic speed calming – which explains why the one I drove through yesterday was close to a school zone – and improved aesthetics (in my opinion). It’s one of the few I’ve come across in the Greater Toronto Area. With bike lanes and sidewalks included for pedestrians and accessible to people with disabilities, why don’t we have more of these?
Photo credit: Roomman