New Project: Pedestrian User Experience at Roundabouts

Roundabouts reduce the severity of crashes at intersections, but transportation agencies have received some feedback from pedestrians indicating that roundabouts, especially larger multi-lane roundabouts, can be difficult to navigate.

Roundabouts continue to be installed on state and local roads in Minnesota—as well as the United States. They have gained popularity for their ability to increase safety and efficiency of vehicle traffic. It has also been found that roundabouts reduce pedestrian related crashes.

However, there have been conflicting observations about pedestrian user experience pertaining to clarity, visibility, access, safety, and delays.

The professional community and transportation agencies want to understand pedestrian behavior, pedestrian treatments for improving visibility of pedestrians and behavior of drivers, guidance with regard to pedestrian treatments, and best practices to follow when evaluating roundabouts for pedestrian user experience.

In a new project, researchers will look at pedestrian safety data, best practices for pedestrian features at roundabouts, and features that can be implemented to help pedestrians be seen, noticed, and yielded to.

The project team will develop a guidebook and decision tools for improved designs and controls for current and future roundabouts. These resources will be geared toward MnDOT, cities, and counties.

Project Details

  • Estimated Start Date: 09/30/2020
  • Estimated Completion Date: 09/30/2022
  • Funding: Minnesota Department of Transportation & Local Road Research Board
  • Principal Investigator: Ranjit Godavarthy
  • Technical Liaison: Joe Gustafson

Details of the research study work plan and timeline are subject to change.

To receive email updates about this project, visit MnDOT’s Office of Research & Innovation to subscribe.

4 thoughts on “New Project: Pedestrian User Experience at Roundabouts”

  1. The picture is a horrible example of a poorly designed “roundabout” that took out all the safety features of a REAL roundabout.
    * The angle of the approaches is designed to promote maximum car speed instead of coming in more perpendicularly
    *, The lampposts obscure the pedestrian from drivers’ view just as she’s about to enter the crosswalk.
    * Pedestrian lighting should illuminate the pedestrian and the walkway, not be silly and decorative with fancy globes way up high and glaring into people’s eyes
    * The lanes are way too wide.
    * Build that fake painted median so it actually does something.

      1. And what about bicyclists? Some of these are terrible to use in the lane or using the pedestrian facilities.

  2. This article is nonsense. Data shows 40% fewer pedestrian crashes at roundabouts. Peds clear in one direction at a time and have a median refuge that reduces exposure to traffic.

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