Published On: Fri, Oct 17th, 2014

Parker: Roundabout in Cherokee increases safety, traffic flow

An aerial photo shows the new roundabout just installed on Acquoni Road.   (Drone photo courtesy of EBCI IT Dept.)

An aerial photo shows the new roundabout just installed on Acquoni Road. (Drone photo courtesy of EBCI IT Dept.)

 

 

By SCOTT MCKIE B.P.

ONE FEATHER STAFF

 

Drivers on Acquoni Road may notice increased traffic flow near the Charles George Bridge due to the installation of a new roundabout, the first of its kind in Cherokee.

“It was a cooperative agreement between the Tribe and NCDOT,” said Josh Parker, Cherokee Department of Transportation manager.  “We agreed that we would design the project and pay for the design and they would pay for the construction.”

Parker commented that safety was a major reason for the roundabout.  “There was a concern about the traffic light and the amount of traffic that was building up.  We wanted to do something to either improve the traffic light and make it more efficient or come up with an alternative.  So, when we met and put our heads together, we came up with the roundabout concept.”

He said that the benefits of a roundabout far outweigh those of a new traffic light.  “The main focus of a roundabout is to efficiently increase traffic flow.  With a roundabout, you’re getting traffic that is rarely at a standstill.  Traffic is always moving…that increases fuel efficiency of vehicles and also forces drivers to be more aware and actually yield and take caution.”

Parker said that traffic lights where traffic comes to a halt make it more prone to rear-end accidents.  “Also, with traffic lights, the light could turn yellow and cause traffic to come abruptly to a stop or it forces drivers to speed up and go through.  A roundabout eliminates all of that.”

A 2011 NCDOT study found a 35 percent reduction in total crashes and a 76 percent reduction in injury crashes once roundabouts were installed at 55 locations throughout the state of North Carolina.

(Taken from Wisonsin Motorists Handbook)

(Taken from Wisonsin Motorists Handbook)

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