Las Vegas Sun

June 26, 2017

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Roundabouts are good for the US

In response to the letter “Roundabout a wise decision for city” (Las Vegas Sun, Dec. 26), the following information is from an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety report from April 2016:

Developed in the U.K. in the 1960s, the first modern roundabouts in the U.S. were constructed in Nevada in 1990. Roundabouts are one of nine evidence-based safety countermeasures recommended by the Federal Highway Administration.

Based on results of 2004 and 2005 institute studies, it’s estimated that conversion of 10 percent of signalized intersections in the U.S. to roundabouts in 2014 would have prevented approximately 49,000 crashes, including 189 fatal accidents and 31,000 involving injuries, and would have reduced vehicle delays by more than 900 million hours and fuel consumption by more than 600 million gallons.

Installing roundabouts in place of traffic signals or stop signs has been found to reduce carbon-monoxide emissions 15 to 45 percent, nitrous oxide 21 to 44 percent, carbon dioxide 23 to 37 percent, hydrocarbon up to 42 percent and fuel consumption 23 to 34 percent. European studies indicate that, on average, converting conventional intersections to roundabouts can reduce pedestrian crashes by about 75 percent.

Initial construction costs vary by site, but roundabout maintenance is usually cheaper than signalized intersections and service life is longer, approximately 25 years compared with 10 years.

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