PennDOT study shows effectiveness in roundabouts; construction continues at Five Points intersection

Local News

A new study by PennDOT shows roundabouts are effective in keeping roadways safe and reducing fatalities. Crews have been busy building one at the Five Points intersection in Summit Township.

Folks there that live there have seen many accidents, and they believe it’s time for something to be done. These accidents are nothing new to the Five Points roundabout.

“I would be mowing my yard and you would hear them, especially during the weekends, you would hear wham! and I would be like ‘Well, there’s another one.'” said Bill Kemm.

Kemm says he was actually in an accident at the complicated intersection. He says the roundabout should be a big improvement.

“I think it should be a vast improvement. It will make traffic flow better, I think and it will probably be the biggest thing, safer.” Kemm said.

Every year, PennDOT takes a look at a number of roundabouts across the state. They look at crash data to see if they are increasing safety and reducing deaths, which they are. PennDOT officials say they identify potentially new roundabout locations based on safety and efficiency.

“When drivers come into a roundabout, the design of it causes them to slow down before they even approach the circle. When they do that, they travel through the circle all in the same direction and all at a slower speed.” said Jill Harry.

Roundabouts also prevent drivers from running a red light. Harry says the Five Points roundabout will simplify traffic when complete next summer, bringing all roads together instead of several intersections.

“I know a lot of people think that we are out there trying to figure out how many roundabouts we can build in there, but really, we are just looking at how do we increase safety. Sometimes, the answer to that is a roundabout.” Harry said.

Jill Harry says there are plans to build roundabouts on Route 18 and on both sides of the bridge off of Interstate 90. There are also plans for two roundabouts on the Bayfront Parkway.

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