Title

TRAFFIC CIRCLES--A VIABLE FORM OF INTERSECTION CONTROL?

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

1994

Subject Area

operations - capacity, operations - traffic, operations - frequency, planning - safety/accidents

Keywords

Universities and colleges, Traffic operations, Traffic control, Traffic circles, Traffic capacity, Traffic, Trade off analysis, Safety measures, Safety, Rotary intersections, Public safety, Michigan, Measures of effectiveness, Junctions (Traffic), Intersections, Highway operations, Highway capacity, Gyratory intersections, Cross roads, Comparison studies, Circular intersections, Alternatives analysis, Accident rates, Accident frequency

Abstract

East Lansing, Michigan, is home to Michigan State University and about 40,000 students that bus, walk, and drive cars on campus. Although most intersections are controlled by two-way stop signs or signals, three major intersections are controlled by traffic circles. A study was initiated to address operational problems at one of the six major intersections. The purpose of the study was to determine the feasibility of changing right-of-way control and to evaluate alternatives to the existing traffic circles. Results indicate that accidents (vehicle, bicycle, and pedestrian) at traffic circles were less severe and less frequent. Data also showed that measures of effectiveness, such as fuel consumption, delay times, and emissions, were more efficent at the traffic circles. Overall, the capacity and operation of all the two-way stop intersections could be improved by converting them to traffic circles.