Sunday, August 22
Roundabouts Now a Necessity
Topeka, Kansas, is one of a few (non-Eastern) American cities that have been enthusiastically incorporating roundabouts into their street systems. Now that Topekans have been using roundabouts at recently expanded intersections in outer areas of the city for a year or two, the Topeka Capitol-Journal no longer gives instructions on how to use these traffic control devices. Instead, installation of a roundabout is almost as routine as signalizing a four-way stop. In fact, events such as the opening of a new shopping center (incidentally, a very unnecessary shopping center) raise a "need" for a roundabout (which has a capacity high enough to substitute for a signal, prevents serious accidents to a large degree, etc.). Should Topeka become very comfortable with its new roundabouts, and should the examples of roundabout-friendly Avon and Vail, Colorado, become well publicized to local transportation planners as success stories, this traffic device, recommended as a "solution" by the Federal Highway Administration, could become a favorite of new, edge-of-city development.