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Driving Around in Circles Is a Good Thing

Posted By Livable Communities Team On June 16, 2014 @ 9:15 am In Livable Communities | No Comments

Modern Roundabouts [1]

There are fewer potential collision points in modern roundabouts than with conventional traffic intersections.

Post by Melissa Stanton, AARP:

Really, it is. So long as the circle you’re driving in is a modern roundabout.

Unlike traditional roundabouts, rotaries or traffic circles, which can be terrifyingly large, complex and fast (Paris’s Arc de Triomphe [2] sits at the center of one such risky round roadway), modern roundabouts are smaller, simpler and slower.

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In fact, by making the streets that pass through neighborhoods slower and narrower, modern roundabouts help roads become safer for motorists and pedestrians. In the process, modern roundabouts help create a sense of place by enabling communities to become more walkable and bike-friendly, which is both good for people’s health and local retailers [4] [4] profits [4].

All of those reasons are part of why, with a rebuild and redesign of a 1.7-mile section of Georgia’s Buford Highway, the city of Suwanee [5] is choosing to install a modern roundabout in its section of the state road and lower the speed limit from 45 to 30 mph.

To learn more about modern roundabouts, check out the Livability Fact Sheet: Modern Roundabouts [6]by AARP Livable Communities and the Walkable and Livable Communities Institute [7].

To learn how to safely drive in a roundabout, watch this video from AARP Driver Safety [8].


To see an experiment that shows how a roundabout is more efficient at moving traffic than a traditional intersection with four-way stop signs, check out this video [9] from the Discovery Channel show MythBusters [10].

- Roundabouts illustration provided by the Walkable and Livable Communities Institute


Melissa Stanton [11]Melissa Stanton is a project manager and editor on the AARP Livable Communities Team.

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Article printed from AARP: http://blog.aarp.org

URL to article: http://blog.aarp.org/2014/06/16/great-places-blog-modern-roundabouts/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://blog.aarp.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Modern-Roundabouts.png

[2] Arc de Triomphe: http://www.arcdetriompheparis.com/

[3] AARP Livable Communities Newsletter: http://www.aarp.org/livable-communities/livable-community-news-alerts/?intcmp=BL-IL-EMAIL-SUB-LC

[4] walkable and bike-friendly, which is both good for people’s health and local retailers: http://www.aarp.org/livable-communities/info-2014/livability-factsheet-bicycling.html

[5] Georgia’s Buford Highway, the city of Suwanee: http://blog.aarp.orgwww.suwanee.com/pdfs/Buford_Hwy_study_4-15-10.pd

[6] Livability Fact Sheet: Modern Roundabouts : http://www.aarp.org/livable-communities/info-2014/livability-factsheet-modern-roundabouts.html

[7] Walkable and Livable Communities Institute: http://www.walklive.org

[8] AARP Driver Safety: http://www.aarp.org/home-garden/transportation/driver_safety/

[9] this video: http://www.wimp.com/testroundabout/

[10] Discovery Channel show MythBusters: http://www.discovery.com/tv-shows/mythbusters

[11] Image: http://blog.aarp.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/MelissaStanton300dpi.jpg

[12] Subscribe to the Livable Communities Great Places Blog by email or RSS feed: http://blog.aarp.org/category/great-places/?intcmp=AE-BLIL-BL

[13] Follow us on Twitter @LivableCmnty: https://twitter.com/LivableCmnty

[14] AARP.org/livable: http://www.aarp.org/livable-communities/

[15] >> Get travel discounts with your AARP Member Advantages.: http://discounts.aarp.org/travel/index/uSource/HCTN?intcmp=AE-BL-TRV-DISC

[16] Slideshow: A Livable Communities Show & Tell: http://www.aarp.org/livable-communities/info-slideshow/livable-community-features-slideshow/

[17] The 10 most walkable cities in the U.S.: http://blog.aarp.org/2014/01/21/great-places-blog-10-most-walkable-cities-us/

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