Carmel, Indiana, has created safer, more environmentally friendly road travel by embracing roundabouts. Starting in the late 1990s, Carmel has installed 140 roundabouts and counting – more than any American city. Not only have the roundabouts become a local tourist attraction, but their success has also helped push other municipalities to make the switch.
The primary benefit is safety. More than 50% of serious car crashes occur at intersections, but modern roundabouts make all crashes, injuries, and deaths less likely. A recent study by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety found injury crashes dropped by nearly 50% at 64 roundabouts in Carmel. There’s also a climate benefit to roundabouts; since drivers don’t have to stop and idle at traffic lights, vehicles burn significantly less fuel, according to the Federal Highway Administration. Studies estimate as much as a 59% decrease in vehicle emissions compared with signaled intersections. Officials also point out that roundabouts are resilient against power outages, since they don’t need electricity to operate.The New York Times