Colorado

May 10, 2014 1:07 AM by Maddie Garrett

More Roundabouts on the Way for Colorado Springs

Drivers should start getting used to roundabouts in Colorado Springs, the City and and many developers are building more of them all over the city. 13 roundabouts are proposed in addition to the 71 roundabouts already dotted across the Springs.

Two intersections, first up to be converted to the circular intersections, are Printers Parkway/Parkside and the "five points" intersection at Tejon/S. Cascade/Ramona. Construction at those locations will start in the next year. Colorado Springs Senior Transportation Planner Tim Roberts said those intersections are known for high numbers of injury accidents, and the roundabouts should make them safer.

But for some people, roundabouts drive them crazy.

"Roundabouts, are a pain in the neck," said Daryl Winston, of Colorado Springs.

For others, they are steering in the right direction.

OR STEER YOU IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION.

"I think roundabouts make traffic flow smoother," said Konrad Schlarbaum, of Colorado Springs. "I am all for them."

No matter how you feel about roundabouts, the bottom line is you'll probably be driving in circles more often, on purpose.

"We have several roundabouts planned within this community," said Roberts.

Roberts said as more roundabouts are built, more people are coming around to accepting them.

"As more go in we're getting more positive feedback from the residents," he said.

Roberts said it's a good thing people are getting used to them, because they are here to stay. That's because roundabouts are more cost effective than traditional intersections with traffic lights, and he said they are safer.

The Federal Highway Administration finds roundabouts greatly reduce t-bone and rear end crashes.

"Most roundabouts, if there is a crash, they're a side swipe and they're more of vehicle damage than personal injury," added Roberts.

In fact, roundabouts are known to reduce injury accidents by 76% and fatal crashes by 89%, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

"The severity is a huge improvement," Roberts said of the reduction.

It doesn't hurt that they're cheaper than traffic lights, too.

"They're really cost effective too as far as installation, it's about half the cost of a pole mounted signal," explained Roberts.

But they do take some getting used to.

"They can be very confusing depending on where they're located," said Winston.

That can cause problems when drivers don't know how to navigate a roundabout.

"There's a few who are still uncertain with the use of them and the approach and you know it's an educational process," said Roberts.

The City of Colorado Springs has more information on how drivers should use the roundabouts, as well as a map of existing and proposed roundabouts, at the following link:

http://springsgov.com/Page.aspx?NavID=3672

 

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