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Utah city abounds with roundabouts

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Posted at 10:04 PM, May 22, 2014
and last updated 2014-05-23 00:05:45-04

ST. GEORGE, Utah - Drivers in St. George said the city has a love affair with roundabouts.

The city completed another one this week in the downtown area and is currently working on one in another part of town.

St. George is home to half a dozen circular intersections, including the most recent located at 400 East and Tabernacle. City Public Works director Cameron Cutler said, from an engineering standpoint, roundabouts are a simple solution to eliminating accidents on less congested roadways.

“At a regular, traditional intersection, you’ve got left turns, through movements, and right turns, when you start adding all those up and where they cross over oncoming traffic, you have several conflict points, where accidents can occur,” Cutler said. “A roundabout reduces those conflict points.”

Drivers did admit they are a little bit intimidated by roundabouts, but they do recognize the benefits. Even if they do take some getting used to.

“You’re supposed to yield, and look,” St. George driver Amy Carter said. “But a lot of people don’t, is the thing. Even yesterday, that happened to me on Main Street. I’m going and this car didn’t even look, just went.”

Officials with the city said they install different traffic patterns based on the intersection’s needs. They’re installing another roundabout on 600 East near Dixie Drive. Cutler said it’s a traffic pattern that works, so they’ll keep on using it, even if to drivers it seems a bit excessive.

The city is gearing up for a number of other traffic projects. For information on the current construction projects, check out the city’s website for more details.