Roundabouts are becoming increasingly popular throughout the country. They are designed to improve traffic flow, reduce congestion, and enhance safety when used correctly. Roundabouts are one of the evidence-based safety countermeasures recommended by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).
The City of Perrysburg is considering a roundabout at the intersection of State Route 25 (West Boundary Street) and U.S. 20 (West Front Street). The proposed roundabout is still in the very early planning stages. City leaders have been meeting with engineers and consultants to understand how a roundabout could benefit and improve safety in that area.
City leaders have also met with a group of residents to listen to and talk through their concerns. This web page is designed to address those concerns and provide resources to help educate the public about roundabouts including the benefits, safety, and how to use them.
Why the City is Considering a Roundabout
The City had concerns about the ability to safely use the entrance to Orleans Park. A consulting firm was hired to look at the entrance to the park and the intersection of Front Street and West Boundary to see what options might be available to increase the safety of motorists using the existing entrance. In reviewing information in the study area, it was also found that there were 96 crashes from 2017 to 2021 at the nearby intersection. The study can be found here.
Employees, delivery drivers, and others entering and exiting the Wastewater Treatment Plant often use the Orleans Park entrance off Maumee Western Reserve Road due to the difficulty of using Green Lane near West Front Street. On average, approximately 15-20 vehicles per day drive in and out of the plant. That number will increase depending on the season and/or circumstances, such as projects, maintenance activities, etc. It should be noted that this traffic includes vehicles of all types and sizes, including trucks pulling 53-foot trailers.
With all the above in mind, the issues that the City is attempting to address are:
- Reducing the number of accidents at the intersection of Front Street/West Boundary
- Safer and easier access to Orleans Park
- Safer and easier access to the Wastewater Treatment Plant - Provide another access point for delivery trucks (different chemicals used in the treatment process, trucks removing sludge from the plant, etc.) so that they do not have to go through the park to access the plant.
Proposed Roundabout FAQ
- According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the Federal Highway Administration, roundabouts are generally safer for pedestrians, who walk on sidewalks around the perimeter and cross only one direction of traffic at a time.
- Crossing distances are relatively short, and traffic speeds are lower than at traditional intersections.
- The safety of all non-motorized users will be taken into account during the design of the proposed project. There are standards that have been designed to make it safe for pedestrians and bicyclists to cross the roundabout, including possible enhanced crossing treatments such as rectangular flashing beacons and pedestrian hybrid beacons (such as those in Bowling Green south of the Stroh Center on East Wooster St).
- By using space to pause on the “splitter island”, pedestrians need to watch only one direction of traffic at a time, which simplifies the task of crossing the street - AARP Modern Roundabout Fact Sheet
- The low vehicle speeds through a roundabout, which can be as low as 15 mph, also allow more time for drivers and pedestrians to react to one another, which reduces the chance and consequences of error (AARP).
- Bicyclists can be given the option of riding in the lane of slow-moving cars or crossing as a pedestrian (AARP).
- Where there may be concerns about not enough gaps in traffic or that drivers will not yield appropriately to allow pedestrians to cross the street safely, appropriate pavement marking and signing can improve motorists' tendency to yield but other factors such as public information, enforcement campaigns and pedestrian education have also been shown to work well. Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon (RRFB) is an effective device to install at crossings where pedestrians may have difficulty crossing (FHWA’s Making Roundabouts Work for Pedestrians and Bicycles).
- Some of the existing ground that is in the park will need to be used to construct the project. The area in question is mostly scrub brush and other vegetation and is on a steep slope making it unusable for anyone visiting the park. By taking a portion of this area to construct the project, the remaining parkland will be easier to use and will be more accessible for everyone.
- The City has an Orleans Park Masterplan that includes additional multi-use paths through the remaining wooded areas, constructed wildlife habitats, water access locations, nature playground, and other improvements that will make the park one of the premier parks within the City.
- An aesthetically pleasing roundabout can create a sense of place, frame a neighborhood, establish an entry point into a business district or neighborhood and serve as a canvas for public art or a garden - (AARP Modern Roundabout Fact Sheet).
- Roundabouts reduce pollution, less idling for cars, less gas being burned into the atmosphere.
- Roundabouts have aesthetic landscaping and more green space than a normal intersection.
- The City has been granted a Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) grant through Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments (TMACOG) that would cover 80% of the $5.9 million cost of construction for the roundabout.
- Perrysburg City Council will need to vote on accepting the grant. If approved, construction would begin in fiscal year 2028 at the earliest.
- A roundabout would be the most cost-effective solution. The proposed project is the only option in the Corridor Study that addresses all 3 of the issues that the City is attempting to address. Also:
- No traffic signal equipment to install, maintain or power.
- Typical roundabout construction costs less than a typical signalized intersection.
- Gas savings for all motorists that use the roundabout. Carmel, Indiana studied 10 sites with traffic counts from 14,000 to 47,000 Annual Average Daily Traffic and found a gas savings average of 24,000 gallons per year per roundabout.
- The consultant has obtained updated traffic counts now that construction is done in downtown Maumee.
- The updated traffic counts will be incorporated into a traffic model to examine the potential impacts of placing a roundabout in this location.
- The model will look at the intersections of West Boundary and Indiana Avenue and Conant Street and Broadway Street and will examine the interaction between the two different intersections.
- As long as the adjacent intersections do not have a negative impact on the proposed project location, there is no reason for the traffic pattern to shift to other City of Perrysburg streets.
- The proposed roundabout will allow the City the opportunity to enhance the entrance to the historical district by adding aesthetically pleasing landscaping and could provide a location for some sort of monument/sign to announce the entrance into the historical district.
- An aesthetically pleasing roundabout can create a sense of place, frame a neighborhood, establish an entry point into a business district or neighborhood and serve as a canvas for public art or a garden (AARP Modern Roundabout Fact Sheet)
- Aesthetic landscaping and more green space than a normal intersection (Carmel, Indiana Roundabout Brochure)
- The traffic pattern should not change unless the adjacent intersections do not have an impact at the proposed project location.
- There are existing streetlights at the intersection. While the existing lights may need to be moved to different locations as result of the project, there may also be a need for additional lighting. If so, the additional lights will be there to light up the roundabout, not the neighborhood.
- Roundabouts are traffic calming (Carmel, Indiana Roundabout Brochure)
What is the purpose of a roundabout?
The circular traffic pattern creates a low-speed environment both inside and when entering and exiting a roundabout. This lower speed helps prevent serious accidents such as “T-bone” and left turn angle crashes. Lower angle, low speed crashes tend to be less severe than high speed crashes.
Studies by the FHWA have found that roundabouts achieve a 44% reduction in crashes and reduce serious injury and deadly crashes by nearly 90% at two-way stop intersections. When roundabouts replace a traffic signal, FHWA found a 48% reduction in crashes and nearly 80% drop in serious injury and deadly crashes.
Roundabouts are a safer alternative to traffic signals and stop signs. The tight circle forces drivers to slow down, and the most severe types of intersection crashes—right angle, left turn, and head-on collisions—are unlikely.
Roundabouts improve traffic flow and are better for the environment. Research shows that traffic flow improves after traditional intersections are converted to roundabouts. There is less idling which reduces vehicle emissions and fuel consumption.
Roundabouts are generally safer for pedestrians, who walk on sidewalks around the perimeter and cross only one direction of traffic at a time. Crossing distances are relatively short, and traffic speeds are lower than at traditional intersections.
(Resources: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the FHWA)
- Before entering the roundabout, slow down and make sure you are in the correct lane for your intended exit. Pay attention to and follow the lane markings and signage.
- When entering a roundabout, you must yield the right-of-way to vehicles already inside the roundabout. Wait for a safe gap in traffic before entering. Once inside the roundabout, you have the right-of-way and do not have to stop or yield to exit.
- Maintain a safe following distance from the vehicle in front of you. This allows for better visibility and reaction time.
- Once you’ve entered the roundabout, stay in your lane until you’re ready to exit. Do not change lanes within the roundabout. Also, watch for large vehicles such as trucks or buses as they may need more space to navigate.
- When exiting, use your right turn signal, check for traffic in your blind spot, and merge smoothly into the exit lane.
- Avoid stopping while inside the roundabout. Do your best to keep traffic moving and avoid stopping unless necessary or if there is a pedestrian.
- Pedestrians have the right-of-way at crosswalks within and near roundabouts. Always stop for pedestrians at the crosswalk.
- Be mindful of cyclists. Some roundabouts have bike lanes or shared bike/vehicle lanes. Be aware and yield to them when necessary.
- If an emergency vehicle is entering the roundabout, do not stop until after you exit the roundabout.