Information/Education Synthesis on Roundabouts
Started: January, 2013 Ended: September, 2013 Project ID #4W4302 Status: Completed
Results & Findings
As described in the final report, public reluctance to roundabouts is an issue that is not unique to Montana; it has occurred throughout the U.S. To this end, the experiences of other states have shown that this attitude can be countered by a variety of approaches. These approaches include traditional methods (public meetings, informational materials, PSAs, etc.) and more innovative ones (social media, simulations, etc.). Regardless of the approaches taken in reaching out and educating the public, the efforts should not come across as being promotional. Rather, efforts should present why a roundabout is a preferred alternative and how it can benefit the community at a particular site. In all cases, it is critical that the public be engaged in a discussion of a roundabout so that they understand that their thoughts and concerns are being heard and considered. While roundabout education and outreach are important in establishing public acceptance, in many cases, it appears that there is no substitute for experience. Many people will remain skeptical of roundabouts until it has been constructed and they have used it. Only after driving a roundabout and seeing that it does work as intended do many opinions change from opposition to support. This is evidenced by the feedback obtained from the survey of Montana residents, as well as the feedback provided by other agencies during telephone interviews.
The objective of this project is to prepare a comprehensive synthesis to guide MDT in deciding on the best ways to promote and educate stakeholders and the public on roundabouts in Montana.
Roundabouts are seeing increased application across the United States and are one of the Federal Highway Administration’s nine proven safety countermeasures. In Montana, however, there has been strong public opposition to some of the roundabout projects proposed by the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT). While MDT staff have presented roundabout-specific facts and figures to the public in order to develop support for these projects, this approach has not proven to be effective. In light of this, MDT determined it was necessary to identify other effective and efficient strategies to use in public meetings and other venues to promote roundabouts as a preferred approach to intersection control and as an effective safety countermeasure. The objective of this project was to prepare a comprehensive synthesis to guide MDT in deciding on the best ways to promote and educate stakeholders and the public on roundabouts in Montana. To meet this objective, three primary tasks were performed: a literature review of existing education/information campaigns for roundabouts, a survey/interview of states regarding their experiences with educating stakeholders and the public on roundabouts, and a review of other state/agency education/information campaigns that have been successful (but not necessarily transportation-specific). The result of this work was a synthesis document that will aid MDT in deciding the best approaches to use in Montana to promote and educate stakeholders and the public on roundabouts.
David Veneziano - PI
Files & Documents
Sponsors & Partners
- Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) Sponsor
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