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Bill Would Give Local Governments Right to Veto Roundabouts

Frankly, this is long overdue.

Wisconsin lawmakers are considering a proposal which would give local governments more power over the European import that’s becoming more familiar to state’s drivers: roundabouts.

Currently only the Department of Transportation or local county officials can decide the specific where and when decisions on the traffic circles. The proposed bill would require municipal officials to sign off before project managers went forward with a roundabout project.

There are approximately 200 roundabouts in Wisconsin. Their purpose is to be in lieu of stop signs and traffic lights. A sponsor of the bill says that developers should have to consider business and motorist concerns before building new roundabouts.

According to DOT officials although they are typically disliked by drivers, once the traffic circles are built they are more likely to be favored.The Assembly Transportation Committee will hold a hearing on the bill Tuesday. The measure isn’t expected to more further this session.

Sadly, this is far too late for my hometown of Kiel, which now has two roundabouts no one wanted but the state DOT.  Instead of trying to get a four-way stop or a stop light at the corners of highways 67 and 57-32 as local residents would have preferred, the state dictated the roundabouts.

I’ve long railed against roundabouts here and still see them as a nuisance.  In fact, in my mind, they’re only popular with the DOT because it gives road builders more surface area to play with as it sucks up more land that could be better used for other purposes.

We’re not Europe.  Stop trying to import their way of driving.

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  • widgeon

    There have been numerous studies in Europe and the US showing round-abouts are safer and move traffic better than stop signs or signals. Easy to look up.

  • fishaddict

    Great then lets put them all over downtown Madison and Milwaukee first instead of just off truck depots. Seems the one right out the school by me causes issues with both the school busses and the semi rigs. The DOT either needs to learn geometry or stop doing them.