Roundabouts are safe
Tuesday, June 5, 2018 - 8:05 am

In response to “Voice Your Opinion: which appeared in the May 30-June5 issue of North Country This Week: Modern roundabouts have median islands separating incoming and outgoing auto traffic. Pedestrians don’t have to find a gap in two directions of traffic, just one. This is safer for pedestrians, especially for younger or older ones, because they only need to concentrate on one direction of traffic at a time. This is what is meant by two-phase. Cross the first half, pause if you need to, then cross the second half. With the lower design speed of 15-20 mph, roundabout medians become very safe places to cross. It’s estimated that median refuges for pedestrians reduce crashes by 25 percent or better. On multi-lane crossings pedestrian beacons or signals are often added if the auto (or pedestrian) traffic is too numerous. The signals can also be two-phase, requiring the pedestrian to push a second button when they get to the median. The median can also have a Z-path to reorient the pedestrian to view oncoming traffic. Also, if used the signals usually rest in off, so they are only activated if a pedestrian needs the help crossing. This way only motorists that need to stop are delayed.