Even though traffic roundabouts are not a new traffic design, they are new to Kent, and as with many new things there was some anxiety on City Council over whether the roundabouts should be built on Summit Street at all.
At that time the City Engineer shared a lot of national research with Council indicating that traffic roundabouts had consistently proven to be safer and more efficient at moving traffic and reducing congestion.
Council was willing to take the Engineer’s advice and ended up supporting the installation of the 2 new traffic roundabouts on Summit Street.
With that in mind, I wanted to pass along a recent update from the Engineer indicating that the early results from both a safety and traffic congestion perspective are promising.
“In the two years prior to constructing the roundabout at Summit Street and Ted Boyd Drive there were 14 reported crashes, including 4 injury crashes with one pedestrian crash. This equates to 7 crashes per year with 28% of the crashes being the more severe injury type crash.
In the 17 months since the roundabout has been opened, there have been 2 minor crashes, with no injury or pedestrian crashes. This equates to 1.4 crashes per year with 0% of the crashes being the more severe injury type crash.
This is an 80% reduction in reported crashes. Even more encouraging, the two crashes occurred within 3 months of the roundabout opening. That means there hasn’t been a reported crash in over 12 months.”
Granted, Summit Street traffic isn’t back to “normal” yet because of all of the construction but it’s still good news that its off to a good start.