Ok, facts of the matter are that cars are bad for the environment, and that it will be a long time before we will be rid of them.
Early in my career I was at odds with my chosen profession because I perceived it as contributing to the continued spread of the urban landform, which in turn contributed to a world that was consuming natural resources beyond its means.
At the time, my treasured mentor Rohan Ogier told me that perhaps I could reduce this impact by making every road that I design more efficient. Then he pointed out the discrepancy in fuel consumption rates for cars in city driving versus an open road condition.
Every car manufacturer provides this information for their new models, and the bottom line is that cars consume more fuel when they stop and start all the time rather than in a free flowing condition. Agreed.
Roundabouts Vs. Four-Way Stops
Roundabouts are used internationally as a way of distributing traffic at multiple converging roads. They are round in shape and they… okay, you all know what they are, but here is something to think about:
How much additional fuel is burned by coming to a complete stop at an intersection and then accelerating away? What if we could eliminate this? Is there a better solution? Definitely.
But what about the:
… people speeding through?
Roundabouts are designed to have a deflection angle to actually slow and re-direct the entering vehicles. The idea is to deter fast motorists from the straight-line route.
… pedestrian safety?
Generally in roundabouts, motorists are more alert to pedestrians because they are not looking for other vehicular traffic and mentally tallying who stopped first etc. At roundabouts you are only attentive to traffic already circulating and pedestrians in front of you. Reduced speed. Elimination of head-on collision potential.
The cherry on top is that the inner island can be planted with native landscaping to process some of the C02 produced by the cars… some of the fuel that has been burned in the past from stopping and starting – genius!