Evaluation of Recent Traffic and Safety Initiatives, Volume I: Developing Guidelines for Roundabouts
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Evaluation of Recent Traffic and Safety Initiatives, Volume I: Developing Guidelines for Roundabouts

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  • Alternative Title:
    Evaluation of Four Recent Traffic and Safety Initiatives, Volume I: Developing Guidelines for Roundabouts
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    Final Report February 2003 – June 2004
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  • Abstract:
    Roundabouts have become increasingly popular in the United States in the past ten years. the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) has recently installed three roundabouts on its state highways (Park City, Lehi, and Bloomington). Requests for installation of roundabouts replacing traditional intersections are expected to grow. However, UDOT does not have specific guidelines or criteria to judge whether roundabouts would be appropriate for the requested sites. The intent of this project was to summarize the key issues concerning roundabouts and develop a preliminary draft of design guidelines and policies that could be used for the implementation of a roundabout instead of some other form of intersection. Only a few state DOTs had design guidelines on roundabouts at the time of the study. US experiences have not been adequate for creating solid, universal design and analysis guidelines on roundabouts and at the time of the study, a multi-year National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) study has just started. The leading software packages used for the design, analysis, and simulation of roundabouts are originated in other countries, such as RODEL (United Kingdom) and aaSIDRA (Australia), where roundabouts have been in existence for many years and in numbers. The former is empirical based on thousands of roundabouts and the latter is based on the gap theory. Engineers do not agree on the best methodology for analysis, and therefore, various software packages with different methodologies exist. The HCS and Synchro 6.0 software programs have gap-based models and their analysis capabilities are not at the level of sophistication as the foreign counterparts. The NCHRP study (NCHRP) 3-65 Applying Roundabouts in the United States is about to be completed at the time of the publication of his report and it is recommended that this report be referenced.
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