Harrisburg adds to the evidence that roundabouts work:
Mayor Derick Wenck said the roundabout has done a great job of cutting down traffic congestion at the intersection, especially during the busy hours during the before-school and after-school rush.
“I mean, we anticipated that there would probably be a couple of accidents,” Wenck said. “I know the first day we opened it up, us and some of the city staff sat up here and watched the school traffic for the first time through the roundabout. It was kind of amazing to watch, because everybody was flowing through it so smoothly. Where as that after school traffic before with our four way stop, we were getting traffic backed up a solid city block” [Cooper Seamer, “Despite Two Accidents Harrisburg Leaders See Smooth Transition to New Roundabout,” KSFY, 2023.11.13].
In its first ten days of operation, the traffic circle saw only two accidents, both from folks not following the one simple rule of traffic circles: yield to folks in the circle!
The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office has been monitoring the intersection since it opened, watching for traffic violations. Deputy Sheriff Garrett Welsh said that the two accidents were minor fender benders, and caused by drivers not properly following the rules of the roundabout.
“So far we’ve seen two accidents since the roundabout opened that were just minor,” Welsh said. ” [What] we’ve seen happen is vehicles that are entering the roundabout, they are not yielding to the vehicles that are in it. Vehicles that are in the roundabout do have the right of way. So that’s where we’ve seen the two accidents that have occurred so far” [Seamer, 2023.11.13].
If you can remember to drive on the right side of the road, you can remember to yield to folks in the circle. Pay attention, and get home faster!