Wisconsin Department of Transportation

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Roundabouts

Aerial view of a roundabout.
Aerial view of a roundabout

Modern roundabouts are among the newer forms of intersection control in the U.S. along with the J-turn, Echelon, diverging diamond, and others. Wisconsin has almost 300 roundabouts installed and operating at this time. Several others are in the planning stages around the state. The modern roundabouts are much smaller than the "traffic circles" of earlier years.

Roundabouts provide safe and efficient traffic flow. A number of safety studies have been researched by the University of Wisconsin Traffic Operations and Safety laboratory (UW TOPS lab), the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and others internationally.

Roundabouts move traffic safely through an intersection because of:

  • Slower speeds
  • Fewer conflict points
  • Easier decision-making

The 2013 safety study by the UW TOPS lab shows that roundabouts provide a:

  • 38 percent reduction in fatal and injury crashes
  • 12 percent increase for all crashes

Roundabouts bring about a significant decrease in severe crashes.

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Questions about the content of this page:
Pat Fleming, patrick.fleming@dot.wi.gov
Last modified: May 2, 2014

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