ST. PAUL, Minn. - Like them or not, the Minnesota Department of Transportation says the nearly 200 roundabouts in the state are saving lives.
That's according to a new study that examined the safety performance of roundabouts by comparing the before- and after-construction crash rates. The study found there hasn't been a multi-vehicle fatality in a roundabout in Minnesota. There was also an 86 percent reduction in the fatal crash rate at intersections where roundabouts were installed.
“Overall, roundabouts in Minnesota are performing well,” said Derek Leuer, traffic safety engineer. “In most cases, modern roundabouts compare favorably in safety and operational performance to conventional intersections with stop control or signalized operation.”
MnDOT says roundabouts also have similar initial construction costs and lower life-cycle costs than a traffic signal with similar traffic capacity.
MnDOT’s roundabout study is the largest conducted in the state to date. Minnesota built its first roundabout in 1995 in Brooklyn Park.