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Development & Transportation

PennDOT study finds roundabouts lead to safer traffic conditions statewide

roundabout bloomfield streets infrastructure.JPEG
Katie Blackley
90.5 WESA
A roundabout in Pittsburgh's Bloomfield neighborhood.

A new report from PennDOT found that roundabouts significantly decreased the total number of traffic-related fatalities, injuries, and vehicle crashes at 26 locations between 2000-2020.

Although there are currently 62 roundabouts on routes throughout Pennsylvania, the 26 included in the study had at least three years of crash report data available both before and after their construction. At these roundabouts, the PennDOT data shows there was an 81% decrease in fatalities, 67% decrease in overall injuries, and 22% decrease in vehicle crashes.

“The roundabout slows down the traffic as [vehicles are] entering into the intersection. So when you do have a crash, they're angled collisions at a low speed, and that's the main contributing factor to the reduced severity of the injuries,” said PennDOT’s Jeff Bucher, acting chief of Highway, Design, and Technology Section.

Roundabouts are fairly new to Pennsylvania. PennDOT said it will continue to be built throughout the state — 19 roundabouts are currently in construction with 20 more in final design.

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