Roundabouts provide alternative to traffic lights - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Roundabouts provide alternative to traffic lights

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ATLANTA -

You may be starting to see them more and more around Georgia -- roundabout intersections. The Georgia Department of Transportation says in most cases they improve safety, help with congestion, and are more cost efficient.

The roundabout at Emory Village in DeKalb County is about to celebrate its second birthday this summer. But, it was a project that took 10 years and some backlash. Today, few complain about it.

Todd Hill is not only the chair for the Alliance to Improve Emory Village. He's also one of the 18,000 drivers that pass through the roundabout every day.

"It's not a burden, you don't feel like you have to bypass the village because you can get through," said Hill. "My kids are on time to school much more."

Before the changes in 2011, congestion in the Emory Village area was a nightmare. With the roundabout, traffic barely stops.

"One of the things our partners at GDOT are doing now is that when you apply for a traffic signal, you actually have to do a roundabout study to show that a roundabout is not the best option," said Patrece Keeter, a supervising engineer with DeKalb County.

Dekalb County already has three roundabouts.

"One of our locations, we had accident problems. But, it didn't meet the minimum requirements for a traffic signal so we were able to install a roundabout to correct an accident problem," said Keeter.

But the improvements don't always come without some protest. When the roundabout was proposed, some said it wouldn't work and it would make traffic worse.

The city of Dunwoody is considering a roundabout at the intersection of Womack Road and Vermack Road, and Roswell raves about their roundabout on Grimes Bridge Road.

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