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Editor’s Note: About Roundabouts

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Many of us have driven through a roundabout.  But how about a highway-style roundabout, which is larger than one you might find in a city?  We’re planning to construct one next summer at Oregon 140 when Jackson County builds its Foothill Road extension across the highway to Atlantic Avenue.

Our cover shows how freight trucks of different sizes can maneuver the one we’re planning. The images are from a stationary drone that tracked their movements during a roundabout rodeo in March.

We hope you keep an open mind on these life-saving intersection treatments. Both Washington and California use them where appropriate. Oregon has five highway roundabouts.

Traffic engineers find that installing signals—which have their place—on high-speed rural intersections nearly guarantees serious injury crashes and fatalities. Roundabouts in the same setting save lives by slowing traffic so critical injury rear-end and T-bone crashes are nearly eliminated.

Speeds through the roundabouts are 20-25 MPH. Drivers must still yield to the traffic inside the roundabout. Roundabouts slow traffic but keep traffic moving for the most part. When traffic is moving, you’re saving time and gas money. Emissions are reduced, too. 

We’re just starting our education efforts on the Oregon 140 roundabout. Help us get the word out about this different but safer intersection tool.

« Back to the May 2019 edition