FAIRBANKS, Alaska - Fairbanksans may start to notice more roundabouts cropping up in the near future. Roundabouts are a relatively new traffic feature, according to Caitlin Frye with the Alaska Department of Transportation. She says Fairbanks will be seeing more of them in the coming seasons and explains why roundabouts are the safest option for traffic flow.
"So we have seen those statistics nationally where roundabouts have reduced fatalities at intersections by 90 percent, compared to signalized intersections, and we have seen it to be true here in Alaska. At the roundabouts in North Pole, in the decade before the roundabouts were built, there were a dozen injury crashes, and in the decade since the roundabouts were built, there has been one minor injury crash and that was due to excessive speeding," she said.
Frye says with roundabouts being fairly new, they can be a bit confusing to drivers who aren't used to them. But the rules are pretty simple.
Slow down when approaching the roundabout and watch for pedestrians.
Yield if there is traffic already in the roundabout, and merge once there is a safe gap.
Do not stop once you are in the roundabout, even if there is an emergency vehicle, but in that case, make your exit then pull over.
Frye says the next roundabout is set to be built at the intersection of Danby Street and Wembley Avenue next summer. She also wants to remind drivers to stay safe on the roads.
"It is just really important to remember when you are out there that posted speed limits are for ideal conditions," she said.
DOT recommends slowing down and staying alert on the road that way everyone makes it home safe.