Thursday, August 16, 2007

Roundabouts gaining traction in America

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The roundabout is a sight all too common in Europe and other parts of the world. In fact, according to this article on the Economist, Britain has 10,000, Australia 15,000 and France 20,000. Here in the United States, we have about 1,000 of the modern style roundabout's, as opposed to so-called "traffic circles" which are not as efficient and allow pedestrian traffic. The U.S. adds about 150 to 250 new roundabouts a year. The benefits are hard to overlook, with safety standing out loud and clear: "A 2001 study by the IIHS found that roundabouts have 80% fewer crashes with injuries than ordinary intersections." Of course, readers here at AutoblogGreen will also be glad to hear that roundabouts also save gas by not forcing cars to sit still at red lights waiting for their turn to go, which also has the benefit of saving time.

With Nascar being such a popular part of American culture, you'd think that drivers would feel at ease only turning left, no?

[Source: The Economist]


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