The College Station City Council has given direction to move forward with a city policy that favors roundabouts over signalized intersections or four-way stops for collector and local streets.
The consensus was reached during the council’s workshop meeting last Thursday. The circular intersections would likely be safer for both drivers and pedestrians and be more efficient at moving traffic, City Traffic Engineer Troy Rother told the council.
Roundabouts ensure lower travel speeds under 25 miles per hour, Rother said, and have yield-controlled
entries. They also have fewer conflict points for vehicles. A typical intersection has 32, and that number drops to eight for roundabouts. And for pedestrians, conflict points are halved from 16 to eight.
Overall collisions are reduced by 37 percent in a roundabout, and crashes that result in an injury are reduced by 75 percent, Rother said. Numbers provided during the council meeting also show that roundabouts have a 90 percent reduction in fatality collisions.
Rother told the council that there’s no “light to beat” in a roundabout, and the one-way approach also makes them safer. They also reduce delay, he said, and are less expensive than signalized intersections. A new roundabout costs an estimated $400,000, while signalized intersections cost $570,000.
Rother said for new developments that might warrant roundabouts in the future, the extra right of way needed for the traffic circles would be acquired in advance. A set of standards for roundabout designs will be developed and reviewed by the city or a consultant.