Designing the geometry of a roundabout involves choosing between trade-offs of safety and capacity. Roundabouts operate most safely when their geometry forces traffic to enter and circulate at slow speeds. Horizontal curvature and narrow pavement widths are used to produce this reduced-speed environment. Conversely, the capacity of roundabouts is negatively affected by these low-speed design elements. As the widths and radii of entry and circulatory roadways are reduced, so also the capacity of the roundabout is reduced. Furthermore, many of the geometric parameters are governed by the maneuvering requirements of the largest vehicles expected to travel through the intersection. Thus, designing a roundabout is a process of determining the optimal balance between safety provisions, operational performance, and large vehicle accommodation.
Professional Development Hours: 6