Revealing the environmental rewards of roundabouts

Posted in: Bridges, Environmental, Transportation

As public acceptance for roundabouts rises, so do the environmental rewards. With citizens growing more conscious of environmental footprints, roundabouts provide an eco-friendly alternative to traditional intersections.

As governments across the country look to reduce carbon emissions, roundabouts are an unlikely ally in that fight. According to a study by Kansas State University, roundabouts that replaced traditional intersections greatly reduced vehicle pollutants. On average, roundabouts show a:

  • 33% reduction in carbon monoxide emissions
  • 46% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions
  • 34% reduction in oxides of nitrogen emissions
  • 53% reduction in hydrocarbons emissions

Reducing carbon emissions is just one environmentally-friendly goal in the transportation sector. Reducing the use of fossil fuels is another ecological objective. Repeated stops and accelerations plus constant idling is a norm with traditional intersections. These gas-guzzling operations are no longer an issue with roundabouts. Carmel, Indiana estimated that their drivers save 24,000 gallons of gas per year per roundabout. With roundabouts, the vehicle is constantly in motion, reducing the amount of gas consumed during travel.

Communities want their roads to be safe, but they also want their natural surroundings to remain as pristine as possible. Installing roundabouts strikes the perfect balance between being beneficial for drivers and the environment.

Troy Pankratz, PE

About the Author

Troy Pankratz, P.E., has designed hundreds of roundabouts across the country using his expertise in intersection geometry to produce designs that elevate his clients’ investment. He absorbs the details of a project’s objectives, so he can work to develop ideal solutions. Troy finds educating and informing project stakeholders about innovative intersections particularly rewarding.

Read more posts by Troy Pankratz, PE

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