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ODOT holds event at Jeep Parkway and Interstate 75 roundabout in recognition of National Roundabouts Week, Sept. 16-20

Use of roundabouts as interstate connectors highlighted

BOWLING GREEN (Monday, Sept. 16, 2019) – At one time, the roundabout was an odd road configuration in the countryside of Europe. But now it’s here, and not just at rural intersections or at suburban locations. It’s become a method of connecting interstates with local roadways.

This is National Roundabouts Week. In recognition of the significant impact roundabouts have on traffic safety, officials with the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) held an event today at one of the newest roundabouts in northwest Ohio, located at Jeep Parkway and Interstate 75, north of Interstate 475, in Toledo.

The dog bone, double roundabout was the first location in northwest Ohio to connect a local road with an interstate. Located next to the Overland Industrial Park, the Jeep Parkway roundabout was opened to traffic in 2018 and was part of a larger project which reconstructed and widened I-75 from Detroit Avenue and Lagrange Street.

“The roundabout is no longer a little-used intersection treatment. It is now a top consideration when we look to improve safety and efficiency at certain locations,” said Pat McColley, Ohio Department of Transportation District 2 deputy director.

The Jeep location was ideal for a roundabout because of the need to adjust to varying traffic volumes and to accommodate pedestrians. “The Jeep roundabouts will accommodate a shift change more efficiently than a traditional signalized intersection,” said Chris Waterfield, traffic engineer for the Ohio Department of Transportation District 2.

Several examples of roundabouts as interstate connectors are in operation or planned in northwest Ohio. This summer, the double roundabout interchange at Wooster Street with Interstate 75 in Bowling Green opened to traffic. The interchange serves as the gateway to the city, to Bowling Green State University, and is the first of what will be a corridor of roundabouts through the city.

A double roundabout on Lima Avenue in Findlay, the first in Hancock County, will open to traffic in December. The roundabout will connect I-75 to Lima Avenue and to U.S. 68/state Route 15. A double roundabout to connect I-475 with Dorr Street in Toledo is scheduled for completion in 2021.

In recent years as transportation officials searched for better solutions at high-crash locations, the somewhat foreign concept of a roundabout began to surface. “A roundabout is one of those tools where 20 years ago we would have only considered a four-way stop or a signal,” said Waterfield.

Transportation officials understand the roundabout concept seems drastic and unnecessary to some drivers. “With approximately a quarter of all traffic fatalities occurring at intersections, Ohio, like other states, is looking to get better results from our efforts to improve safety at intersections. We are implementing roundabouts statewide because they are exponentially safer, which is our goal,” said Chris Hughes, Ohio Department of Transportation District 1 deputy director.

  • According to information provided by the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, roundabouts hold several advantages over traditional intersections:
    • Eliminate angle and high-speed crashes.
    • Reduce severe crashes by more than 80% versus a two-way, stop-controlled intersection.
    • Reduce severe crashes by more than 75% versus a signalized intersection.
    • Reduce the number of traffic conflict points.
    • Can adjust to fluctuations in traffic volumes and improve traffic flow.
    • When used at interstate interchanges, roundabouts greatly reduce the possibility of traffic entering the wrong way.
    • Accommodate pedestrian and bicycle traffic.
    • Are less costly to maintain.
    • Reduce emissions and fuel consumption due to less vehicle idling and sudden stops.

For more information regarding roundabouts, view a video produced by the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration.

Links to specific roundabouts as interstate connectors in operation or planned in northwest Ohio:

Future Lima Avenue roundabout, Findlay:

Future roundabout, Dorr Street and I-475, Toledo

Roundabout in operation at Wooster Street and I-75, Bowling Green

Roundabout in operation, Jeep Parkway and I-75, Toledo

Learn some of the common misunderstandings regarding roundabouts in ODOT’s Myth Busters series on social media during #RoundaboutsWeek, Sept. 16-20:

On Twitter:

https://twitter.com/ODOT_NWOhio

http://twitter.com/odot_Toledo

On Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/ODOTDistrict1

https://www.facebook.com/ODOTD2

 

The Ohio Department of Transportation maintains the state's largest man-made asset – the transportation system. ODOT's mission is to provide the safe and easy movement of people and goods from place to place. As a $3 billion per year enterprise, ODOT invests the bulk of its resources in system preservation through maintenance, construction, and snow and ice operations.

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