Why Is the Milwaukee Roundabout So Dangerous?

June 15, 2023

Many drivers in Milwaukee and across the state have a love/hate relationship with roundabouts. Unlike traffic lights, they are designed to move vehicles smoothly through intersections and reduce crashes. While they can be confusing, a little knowledge can make them easier to navigate. This month’s Wisconsin State Patrol Law of the Month is a reminder about a key safety rule when driving through roundabouts.

The article explains that although accidents do occur in European traffic circles, or “roundabouts” as they are called in the United States, they are less severe than traditional intersection accidents. Roundabouts prevent dangerous right-angle, left-turn or head-on collisions by directing traffic in one direction.

In addition to reducing crash numbers, roundabouts can be safer for pedestrians and bicyclists. They also require fewer maintenance costs than traditional intersections. In fact, a recent study showed that roundabouts are more than twice as efficient for traffic flow as traditional intersections.

While the Milwaukee street where this accident occurred isn’t a roundabout, there are plenty of them around the city. In fact, there are so many that it’s possible you’ve driven through one without even realizing it.

For example, there’s this one in Walker’s Point where a driver was going too fast and couldn’t make the curve. Or this one at Beloit and Coldspring, where a car slammed into the back of another. But why is the milwaukee roundabout so dangerous? Is it because people drive too fast, not knowing what to expect when entering a roundabout, or because the design of the road is bad?


Traffic Dave is on a mission to help traffic engineers, transportation planners, and other transportation professionals improve our world.
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