Why are there so few roundabouts in America?
Question from Jonas Barends
The UK has a passion for roundabouts; we even have our own Roundabout Appreciation Society. Other nations, including Australia and France, have even more of the circular traffic guides. But this love has yet to be exported to our American cousins.
The US does have roundabouts- one per 1,118 intersections, compared to one per 127 in the UK and one per 45 in France- but many regulators and officials still heavily favour the traffic light intersection. Although there is evidence that roundabouts are the safer option, many cite an entrenched culture that dislikes changes to the roadway, and the psychological benefit of having a traffic light as a guide as reasons for the US’s reluctance to join the roundabout revolution.
Answered by James Horton for Brain Dump in How It Works issue 116.
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