Routes 29 and 73 Roundabout Among 22 Where Crashes Decreased
ZIEGLERVILLE PA – The traffic roundabout at the intersection of Routes 29 and 73 in Lower Frederick Township, which was built by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and opened in 2009, is one of 22 roundabouts where “fatalities, injuries, and crashes decreased overall” after they were constructed, according to results of a PennDOT study issued Wednesday (Sept. 2, 2020).
The agency reviewed only roundabouts that were previously controlled by stop signs or traffic signals, and for which it had at least three years of police-submitted crash data available before and after construction. Its analysis indicates that, across the 22 roundabouts examined between years 2000 and 2019, “fatalities at these locations were reduced by 100 percent, and the total number of crashes decreased by 24 percent.”
The Zieglerville traffic control was the only one within Montgomery County included in the study, PennDOt reported. Others were in Allegheny, Beaver, Bucks, Butler, Chester, Cumberland, Dauphin, Delaware, Erie, Luzerne, Washington, and York counties, and were opened between 2005 and 2015.
The department also said it determined that, at the roundabouts under study:
- Suspected serious injuries were reduced by 78 percent;
- Suspected minor injuries were reduced by 62 percent;
- Possible or unknown severity injuries were reduced by 82 percent; and
- Property damage-only crashes increased by 20 percent.
“We continue to be encouraged by the safety advantages of the modern roundabout,” PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian said. “Lives are being saved and injuries reduced. The data cannot be denied.”
In addition to the 22 roundabouts that met the study selection criteria, 34 others have been built on state routes, and more than 40 others are being designed, the state noted.
Roundabouts are frequently installed, it noted, to address intersections with safety issues. They also may be created to improve traffic flow, traffic calming, and to enhance pedestrian mobility. Although roundabouts are considered safer and more efficient than traditional intersections with signals, PennDOT claimed they “may not always be the best option due to topography or other reasons, such as property impacts, capacity issues and proximity to other intersections.”