With the opening of the newest section of Washington County’s Springfield Bypass (US 150), some changes in traffic flow in front of St. Catherine College are prompting the Department of Highways District Office in Elizabethtown to provide public awareness with regard to traffic use of a roundabout. This design was chosen to connect both new and old sections of US 150 and St. Catherine College.
As the name implies, traffic enters a roundabout in an unsignalized, one-way, circular intersection engineered to maximize safety and minimize traffic delay. The main principle to navigating a roundabout is yielding to traffic inside the circle.
• Slow down as you approach the yield line.
• Look for a gap in traffic: vehicles already in the roundabout, do not stop. This is similar to a “Right turn on Red.”
• Proceed slowly, counterclockwise around the central island of the roundabout. (Maximum speed ~ 20 mph)
• Do not stop in the roundabout.
• Use your turn signal to indicate exit. Do not pass a bicycle in the roundabout.
• Continue through the roundabout if you see an emergency vehicle approaching from behind. Exit the roundabout and then pull over to the right side of the road.
While roundabouts are not used in the majority of highway intersections, they have been successfully implemented in a few recent Kentucky Transportation Cabinet projects. Locally, a project in Hardin County opened with the use of a roundabout to connect the county’s Thompson Road, KY 220 and KY 1600 near Rineyville.
In addition to motorist safety and traffic flow advantages, modern roundabouts reduce the need for storage lanes and eliminate electronic signals at intersections which saves electricity and maintenance costs. These designs also provide traffic calming and aesthetic treatments can be more easily incorporated.
District Four Chief District Engineer Patty Dunaway and District Four Branch Manager of Project Development John Moore both say that roundabouts are now being considered in nearly all instances where requests are made to construct new or redesign existing intersections. Moore also adds that with the success of the Rineyville Roundabout, he believes the public is also warming up to the idea of using these designs.
A publication from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is now available in Springfield at the Washington County Judge-Executive’s office, the office of St. Catherine College and the Washington County Public Library. This six-page booklet is titled, “Modern Roundabouts 101” and expands on points highlighted in this press release. It also provides various resources with respect to the implementation of roundabouts in other communities from other states.
For more information on roundabouts and the newest project in Washington County, please visit the following website: http://transportation.ky.gov/District-4/Pages/roundabouts.aspx
You may also contact District Four’s Public Information Officer, Chris Jessie at 270.401.3193 or email@example.com.