Could Roundabouts Be The Future?

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Updated: Thu, 03 Jul 2014 10:05:24 CST

Could roundabouts be installed in the city of Hastings? It could be an option for future developments. 

Residents are split on the issue. Some like the idea, while others say they are too confusing, but some studies show they could be a safer alternative to a 4-way stop.

For years roundabouts have been a topic of controversy across the country.

"I think they're annoying it can just be a regular intersection they don't need to have a roundabout it just makes it kind of confusing," said Alec Baker.

Right now there are only two roundabouts in Hastings, both at Central Community College, but Lincoln has 34 roundabouts with three under construction.

"I personally like them they help traffic through certain areas like maybe more congested areas," said Jared Lawhead.

And they could be safer. Russ Rader with the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety out of Virginia says studies show intersections converted to roundabouts saw as much as an 80% reduction in injury car crashes and a reduction of all car crashes up to 50% Local drivers agree.

"I think they're safer for drivers especially for people that have just moved here like me," said Priscilla Kleinjan.

Chandra Munger is from Phoenix, Arizona. She says roundabouts are common throughout her city and she finds them easier than traditional intersections.

"You don't have to stop at a stoplight it makes things quicker and then i also go through on the way to work which also makes it nice you stop for a second see if anybody's there and then you go so it seems a lot quicker," said Chandra Munger.

Despite the benefits, many residents are skeptical. Radar admits roundabouts can be intimidating at first. But he says public opinion surveys show drivers quickly embrace roundabouts after they're built.

"Around here you don't usually have roundabouts so it might just take some time to get used to it," said Jared Lawhead.

Rader also says roundabouts improve the flow of traffic and can help ease congestion. He says they even offer drivers the benefits of fuel savings because vehicles are not idling at stop lights. I also contacted Dave Wacker, Hastings City Engineer. He did not yet return my calls.