Washington Twp. roundabout set to open within the next week

WASHINGTON TWP. — The roundabout at Mad River and Alex Bell roads is set to open within the next week, Montgomery County Engineer Paul Gruner’s office announced Thursday.

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The $967,000 project took about four months to construct and will benefit the environment in that constantly moving traffic means less idling, which leads to a decrease in vehicle emissions and fuel consumption.

The roundabout will boost traffic efficiency and safety because it is designed to force drivers to slow down, Gruner’s office said.

On average, roundabouts reduce total crashes by 35 percent, injuries by 76 percent and fatalities by 90 percent.

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“Research shows roundabouts are safer than other types of intersections,” Gruner said in a prepared statement. “We know some drivers may find roundabouts intimidating. To help provide reassurance, we are working to inform our residents on the benefits of roundabouts and educate them as to how to drive them.”

When driving in a roundabout, Gruner’s office advises, you should always do the following:

◊ Slow down

◊ Yield when entering (drivers in the circle have the right of way)

◊ Look to your left and enter the circle by turning right

◊ Once you enter, do not stop

◊ Turn right to leave the roundabout onto your desired road

◊ Exit the roundabout if you see or hear an emergency vehicle, then pull over