PennDOT data shows Pa. roundabouts reduce fatalities, injuries and crashes

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Photo courtesy of PennDOT

HARRISBURG – On Wednesday, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced the installation of roundabouts have made a major difference.

According to department data, fatalities, injuries, and crashes have decreased overall at 23 of 26 roundabout locations since they were built.

“The modern roundabout is simply safer than the traditional intersection,” said PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian. “Though not the right option for every intersection, data shows that when installed, roundabouts save lives and reduce crash severity.”

PennDOT recently reviewed data for 26 roundabouts on state routes at intersections that were previously stop or signal controlled, based on having at least three years of crash data available before and after they were built. Based on police-submitted crash reports spanning the years 2000 through 2020, the data shows fatalities at these locations were reduced by 100 percent, and the total number of crashes decreased by 22 percent.

Additionally:

  • Suspected serious injuries were reduced by 81 percent
  • Suspected minor injuries were reduced by 36 percent
  • Possible/unknown severity injuries were reduced by 76 percent
  • Property damage-only crashes increased by 13 percent.

In addition to the 26 roundabouts meeting the selection criteria, 36 other roundabouts have been built on state routes, with 19 more in construction and 20 in final design.

The roundabouts included in the review are at the following intersections:

  • Allegheny County:
    • Route 3070 (Ewing Road) and Business Route 0376 Ramp, opened in 2011;
  • Beaver County:
    • Route 0068 (Adams Street), Route 1034 (Brighton Avenue) and Route 6018 (Brighton Ave./Rhode Island Ave.), opened in 2011;
  • Bucks County:
    • Route 2043 (Trevose Road) and Somerton Road, opened in 2012,
    • Route 213 (Bridgetown Pike/Maple Avenue) and Route 2010 (Bridgetown Pike), opened in 2016;
  • Butler County:
    • Route 3024 (Glen Eden Road), Powell Road and Freshcorn Road, opened in 2015;
  • Chester County:
    • Route 0082 (Doe Run Road) and Unionville Road, opened in 2005,
    • Route 52 (Lenape Road), S. Wawaset Road and Lenape Unionville Road, opened in 2014,
    • Route 3062 (Strasburg Road), Romansville Road and Shadyside Road, Opened in 2017;
  • Crawford County:
    • Route 6/19 (Main Street) and Route 0198 (South Street), opened in 2017;
    • Route 6/19 (Main Street) and Route 0198, opened in 2017;
  • Cumberland County:
    • Route 0034 (Spring Road), Route 1007 (Sunnyside Drive) and Mountain Road, opened in 2014;
  • Dauphin County:
    • Route 0039 (Linglestown Road) and Route 3019 (Mountain Road), opened in 2011,
    • Route 322 (Governor Road) and Homestead Lane, opened in 2016,
    • Route 322 (Governor Road) and Meadow Lane, opened in 2016;
  • Delaware County:
    • Route 1023 (N. Newtown Street) and Route 1046 (St. Davids Road), opened in 2008;
    • Route 0320 (Chester Road), Rutgers Avenue and Fieldhouse Lane, opened in 2014;
  • Erie County:
    • Route 19 (High Street) and Route 97, opened in 2014;
  • Luzerne County:
    • I-81 Exit 178 (three roundabouts), opened in 2015
    • Route 315 (Airport Road) and Williams Street and SB Ramp,
    • Route 315 (Airport Road) and NB Ramps and Terminal Road and Navy Way Road,
    • Williams Street and SB ramp;
  • Luzerne County:
    • Route 2008 (Middle Road) and Espy Street, opened in 2017;
  • Montgomery County:
    • Route 0029 (Gravel Pike) and Route 0073 (Big Road), opened in 2009;
  • Washington County:
    • Route 519 (two connected roundabouts) – Route 0519 and Brownlee Road, and Route 519 and Thompson Eighty Four Road, opened in 2015;
  • York County:
    • Route 116 (Main Street) and Hanover St. and Roths Church Road, opened in 2007;
    • Route 74 (Delta Road) and Bryansville Road, opened in 2008.

Roundabouts are frequently installed to address intersections with safety issues. But they may also be installed to improve traffic flow as well as calming traffic and facilitating pedestrian mobility. 

Roundabouts are recognized by the Pennsylvania State Transportation Innovation Council (STIC) as an innovation that has become standard practice within the transportation community.

Although roundabouts are safer and typically more efficient than traditional signalized intersections, they may not always be the best option due to topography, property impacts, capacity issues and proximity to other intersections.

To educate Pennsylvanians on how to navigate a roundabout, the department created a video on how to use both single and multi-lane roundabouts whether in a vehicle, on a bicycle or on foot.

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