Prior to the roundabout, the intersection experienced congestion and delays during periods of high traffic volumes, such as weekday morning and afternoons. Traffic backed up during these peak periods, forming queues of vehicles waiting to cross the intersection. The intersection also had a history of vehicular crashes occurring.
Why a Roundabout?
The South Carolina Department of Transportation suggested a roundabout as the safest traffic solution for the area. In national studies, roundabouts have been found to reduce total crashes by 35%, crashes with injuries by 75%, pedestrian crashes by 40% and fatal crashes by 90%.
Navigating a Roundabout
When navigating a roundabout motorist should remember the following safety tips:
Slow on Approach
A big advantage of a roundabout is that it does not stop traffic as a stop sign or signal would. Slow down when you are approaching a roundabout, and if the way is clear, then you can proceed without stopping.
Give way to vehicles already in the roundabout
Yield to traffic already in the roundabout. Always give way to vehicles that are already occupying the roundabout and wait until there is sufficient space before proceeding.
Also, yield to pedestrians and bicyclists in the roundabout.
Give Way to the right
When two or more vehicles approach a roundabout at the same time, the vehicle to the right has the right-of-way.
Entering a Roundabout
Enter a roundabout to the right, but steer to the left (in a counterclockwise direction).
Signal when exiting
One of the most common mistakes that people use when transiting roundabouts is signaling incorrectly, or not at all. Motorist should always use their right turn signal right before exiting.
In order to fund this project, Dorchester County successfully obtained $1.25 million from the South Carolina State Infrastructure Bank (SCTIB) Local Agency Fund, $750,000 from the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) funds and $850,000 in Dorchester County Capital Funds.
Local Public Agency funds are federal or state transportation funds programmed through SCDOT and made available to qualified agencies for specified projects. HSIP funds are Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) project-specific funds administered through SCDOT’s Safety Office.