I don't know what it is about a roundabout that scares the $hit out of people in this area.

They improve the flow of traffic, reduce accidents (when's the last time you saw an accident inside of a roundabout?), and are even better for the environment because of less idling reduces vehicle emissions and fuel consumption.  This is according to IIHS HLDI.

Roundabouts are typically safer for pedestrians as well.

Think about it.  Pedestrians walk on sidewalks around the outside of the roundabout and only cross one direction of traffic at a time.  No need to look 4 different ways before crossing.  Traffic speeds are typically 20 miles per hour, so slower than most speed limits outside of roundabouts.

Yet for some reason people seem to fight roundabouts in Bismarck Mandan tooth and nail.

I actually saw a guy signal to the LEFT going into the roundabout near Lincoln the other day.  LEFT???  I was dumbfounded.  First off, you NEVER need to signal to go into a roundabout.  EVER.  You must only signal EXITING a roundabout.  That's it, and it's the law too.  Keep that simple thing in mind and all will be right with the world.  Plus, you'll avoid a stop by a cop.

So, where's this new roundabout going into Bismarck?

Google Maps Screenshot
Google Maps Screenshot

According to the Bismarck City Commission meeting, the roundabout will be added to the intersection of South Washington and Burleigh Avenue.  Another lane will also be added to that stretch of Washington to serve as a left turn lane.

The whole project will cost $15.5 million and construction will start next year in May and will go until November of 2024.

Don't be afraid of roundabouts my friends.  They really are simple to navigate if you just remember to signal when you EXIT!


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