Transit Talk: Merry-go-roundabout

To drive in Pittsburgh is to take your life into your own hands. Part of that is due to aggressive — and, in some cases, illegal — maneuvers such as the Pittsburgh left and widespread local treatment of red lights as “orange.” But part of the city’s touch-and-go driving is due to our severe topography and outdated infrastructure, as seen in our many confusing intersections that require oddly-timed red lights, quick merges that throw off unfamiliar motorists, and wide crossings that have contributed to a rise in pedestrian fatalities…

The Federal Highway Administration says roundabouts can be “an effective option for managing speed and transitioning traffic from high-speed to low-speed environments.” The neckdowns required to channel traffic into the roundabout also offer pedestrians islands of refuge. Instead of a sea of asphalt and tangles of traffic lights, roundabouts can additionally serve as bicycle-friendly points of connection or venues for public art.

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