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Southwest Florida Installing New Traffic Roundabouts

On April 6th, 2015, Alternate Street Design of Orange Park made a proposal to Lee County Metropolitan Planning Committee in Fort Myers, Florida to install 18 new roundabouts. The planning committee has narrowed the proposal down to five different options and have commissioned trial roundabout designs for two intersections. The first will be at Periwinkle Way in Sanibel and the second will be at Winkler Avenue and Challenger Boulevard in Fort Myers.

These designs will be modeled to include simulated traffic for the intersection, so the committee and the public can see how they will impact traffic in the area. The hope is that these roundabouts will reduce accidents at these intersections. If successful, the county will implement more roundabouts. There is no estimated timeline for the implementation of these roundabouts, but the hope is they will be approved within the year.

Are Roundabouts Safer?

With the plans to implement roundabouts in Fort Myers, FL many wonder if roundabouts are actually safer than traditional, four-way intersections. The answer is they are safer. In fact studies have shown that roundabouts are a lot safer than traditional intersections. On average four way intersections that have been replaced by roundabouts have seen:

  • A 40% reduction in pedestrian accidents
  • A 37% reduction in all automobile collisions
  • A 75% reduction in accident injuries
  • A 90% reduction in accident fatalities

These reductions are because traffic tends to move slower through a roundabout, there is no quick stopping or racing like through an intersection, and the flow of traffic only comes from one direction. So there are less factors that cause collisions at roundabouts than at traditional intersections.

Benefits Of Roundabouts

Beyond being safer than traditional intersections, roundabouts have numerous benefits. Since they promote a continuous flow of traffic, they reduce congestion and traffic delays. They are also less expensive to install than intersections with traffic lights costing taxpayers an average of $150,000 less. They are also less expensive to maintain over time. Finally, though roundabouts are larger than traditional intersections, they use less space because they require less traffic lanes and braking distance than intersections.

How To Drive In A Roundabout

Though used for thousands of years, roundabouts are fairly new to Florida. So it is important if Fort Myers installs these roundabouts drivers know how to navigate them. However they are very easy to drive through. Here are the steps:

  • When approaching a roundabout slow down
  • In a roundabout with a single lane, follow the curve of the lane
  • In a roundabout with multiple lanes, choose to the lane you need to get to your destination
  • Look left and yield to any oncoming cars
  • Once clear, enter the roundabout and proceed until you are at your desired turn
  • Exit the roundabout

The biggest challenged to the roundabout project is public awareness and acceptance. So the Lee County roundabouts will be installed carefully to gauge public reaction. However, if the public learns how safe and easy to maneuver roundabouts are, we may be seeing more of them pop up all over Florida.

Attorney David Goldman has a strong belief that everyone should be treated fairly and those with the means should do what they can to bring justice in all areas of our society. That belief has led him to help Florida's injured from being taken advantage of by corporations and insurance companies. Since 1989 David Goldman has been fighting for the rights of Floridians both as an attorney and by personally supporting our community.

Southwest Florida Installing New Traffic Roundabouts

Goldman Babboni Fernandez
Murphy & Walsh

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