Preview - You Paid For It: Roundabouts

By Kris Schuller |

Published 04/28 2014 09:07PM

Updated 04/28 2014 11:01PM

NORTHEAST WI (WFRV) Roundabouts use to be unique. Now they are the norm. A favorite tool for traffic engineers to make driving safer in Wisconsin. At least - that is the claim.

Local 5's Kris Schuller with a preview of his special report - You Paid For It: Roundabouts 

When it comes to roundabouts, there is rarely a middle ground. You either love them or hate them.

Tuesday at 10, we begin taking a closer look at this traffic control measure and if it is really making roads safer for drivers. 

Over the last two decades nearly 300 roundabouts have been constructed in Wisconsin and 130 more are planned for the next few years. The state's Department of Transportation says roundabouts are safer because they eliminate head-on and t-bone collisions. However many drivers say the circular road design confuses too many people.  

Tuesday at 10 we look at a DOT crash study and examine the before and after accident data - at two intersections where roundabouts were constructed.                  

 "Those intersections where we've had problems - serious or fatal crashes - those intersections are tremendously much safer then what they use to be," said Randy Asman, a state traffic engineer.

 "Half the time I'm worried that people who don't know what lane to go into are going to smash right into my kids side," said one concerned mother.

 Later this week, we will also hear from a state lawmaker who says the DOT has too much control over where roundabouts are built. He wants to give local municipalities the power to veto projects.

 We'll also learn how much money the DOT is spending statewide this year to teach people how to drive through a roundabout.

 It is a circling debate that isn't going away anytime soon. Learn more Tuesday night at 10 on You Paid For It: Roundabouts.

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