UPDATE: Police release warning to drivers on roundabouts

Posted: Thursday, August 1, 2013 --- 8:00 p.m.

Madison --- Whether you love them, or hate them, roundabouts are common in Wisconsin. But navigating through them is not always the easiest thing.

“Typically it’s an adjustment period for drivers, when they first approach roundabouts,” said Sgt. Eric Tripke, with the Madison Police Traffic Enforcement Safety Team.

Right now, there are more than 200 of them in the state, and a lot of them are here in our area.

“It is somewhat controversial, we’re putting up more and more of them. They’re popping up all over Dane County,” said Sgt. Tripke.

Adding to the controversy is Rep. David Craig. Wednesday, he proposed a bill that could put the brakes on roundabout construction.

He want’s local governments to chime in during the planning phase. That way drivers who would be affected could have a say.

“We ended up with a number of side-swiped type of crashes, failure to yield primarily,” said Sgt. Tripke.

Thursday, the Madison Police Department also put a warning out after an increase in minor accidents.

“We need to get the word out to drivers out there.” said Sgt. Tripke.

Lien and Thompson, is the location of one of the city’s most popular roundabouts. Before it was their in 2009, they saw eight crashes with four injuries. Fast forward to 2012, 18 crashes and three injuries.

While the data shows an increase, the city says fewer accidents are expected in the future. As people get more familiar with the everyday obstacle.

“As time goes forward here, people are going to recognize that these are much more efficient, than coming to a complete stop at a stoplight,” said Sgt. Tripke.

The DOT says roundabouts cut down injury, and fatal crashes by 52 percent. They say it’s the slower rate of speed that makes them safer.


UPDATED Wednesday, July 31, 2013 --- 12:07 p.m.
Posted Wednesday, July 31, 2013 --- 10:41 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Local communities, not just state transportation officials, would have to approve roundabouts before they could be constructed, under a bill introduced in the Wisconsin Assembly.

The measure affecting the circular intersections was introduced Wednesday by state Rep. David Craig, a Republican from the town of Vernon.

Installing roundabouts instead of traditional intersections with traffic signals has increased in popularity across Wisconsin in recent years. Under current law, the state Department of Transportation can proceed with building a roundabout even when there is local opposition.

Craig's bill would also require local approval. Craig says that will ensure those who will be using the roundabouts have a say in the process.

The measure has 22 co-sponsors, including one Democrat in the Senate.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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