Walk-about, drive-about a roundabout

LRC tour of roundabouts

The Livable Roadways Committee (LRC) had their interest piqued about modern roundabouts during a recent presentation highlighting their significant safety benefits. Excited by statistics like the greater than 90% reduction in fatalities, the LRC graciously accepted the presenter’s offer of a tour to experience local roundabouts firsthand.

Committee members, MPO staff, and other local planners joined tour guide Ken Sides of Sam Schwartz Engineering on a bus provided by Hillsborough County’s Sunshine Line to experience how roundabout design encourages drivers to voluntarily slow down.During the walk-about portion of the tour at the roundabout at 40th St in East Tampa, the group observed people travel safely navigating the intersection with ease including the tour bus, pedestrians, bicyclists, cars and trucks. LRC member Arizona Jenkins safely and comfortably explored the “walk-about” in his motorized wheelchair and brought another perspective while increasing awareness for everyone.

The roundabout tour gave the group much to talk about, as it were, commenting on how they felt less vulnerable as pedestrians crossing the modern roundabout compared to traditional intersections. They enjoyed the value-added, beautiful design details like the textured crosswalk materials with palm tree design and the landscaped obelisk in the center of the roundabout at 21st St and 23rd Ave.

For more details on the safety and other benefits such as reduced congestion, pollution, and fuel use, additional cost savings and community value of modern roundabouts see the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) website.