August 18, 2022 – Carmel, Indiana, is sending drivers for a loop — by design. The city is home to 142 roundabouts and counting — more than any other city in the country. Mayor James Brainard said they make the community safer and greener.
The roundabouts keep vehicles flowing, but they also slow traffic down, and slower traffic makes the roads safer for pedestrians and bicyclists. Roundabouts don’t require electricity, so they continue to function during power outages and severe weather that can black out a traditional stoplight intersection.
There has been a bit of a learning curve for drivers, but Carmel has been able to remove traffic lanes even as its population has more than quadrupled. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that Carmel’s switch to roundabouts cut injury crashes in the city by nearly half. Busy intersections, like highway exits, saw an 84% drop.