The first time I drove through a roundabout was back in 2006. My cousin was stationed overseas and Tracey and I decided to take a trip before they moved back the US. While there, we took a train from Paris to Caen, rented a car, and drove to the American Cemetery at Normandy. But on the way...we became the Griswalds for a short moment. I entered the multi-lane roundabout, and went around, and went around, and went around...In my defense, it wasn't the beginner level roundabouts we have here in Acadiana.
A little history
Roundabouts first appeared in the United States in the early 90's. Today there are about 5,000 completed with thousands more being planned across the country. In addition to relieving traffic congestion, and lowering fuel consumption, roundabouts are significantly safer that traditional light based intersections. Every year, an estimated 2,300 fatal accidents occur in traditional light based intersections. 700 of these are the result of someone running a light. Because roundabouts reduce the approach speed, injuries have been reduced by up to 84% in intersections that have been replaced with a roundabout. For more info: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uhHzly_6lWM
A learning Curve
It does take a while for drivers to get accustomed to them. When roundabouts first appeared in Lafayette, it was funny watching people cautiously approach them for the first time and then yielding at each entry point. It still happens, but it's much more seldom. Today most Lafayette drivers are zipping through them with ease.
Roundabouts in Acadiana
There are currently (15) roundabouts in Lafayette, (13) are in the design/construction phase, and (58) locations are being studied for possible development. Click here to see the map.
If you'd like more information on road/traffic projects in our area, visit the Lafayette Metropolitan Planning Organization.