After two years since the roundabout in Venice opened, many are wondering if the roundabout has helped improve traffic and reduce Venice car accidents. Because the City of Sarasota and Sarasota County are planning to install eleven roundabouts between the bayfront and the airport on U.S. 41, many are wondering how Venice’s roundabout is working.
The Herald Tribune brought together a panel of drivers who travel that road frequently to look at the efficiency and safety of roundabouts. Here is some of the feedback the Herald Tribune received:
- David McClain was initially opposed to the roundabout idea, but has stated that “…traffic flows a lot faster than it did with the traffic light.”
- Don Blair shared, “…I am totally in favor of it [the roundabout] now although my wife still holds her breath every time we go into and around it.”
- “I still don’t like it. My contention that it’s too small has not changed,” says Charlie Bress. “There is not much maneuvering room. I would rather have the perceived safety of a traffic signal.”
Unfortunately, drivers do get confused about which lane to take—the inside or the outside lane—which has led to many Venice car accidents in the roundabout. The Florida Highway Patrol reported 44 non-fatal fender benders for the Venice roundabout during 2012, and that 20 crashes have been reported so far in 2013.
It is believed that roundabouts do make traffic flow faster, but there is not enough evidence that the roundabout is much safer than traffic lights. However, experts believe that there may be more crashes in a roundabout, but the severity of Venice car crashes would be less.
Mallard Perez will keep our readers informed about the roundabouts projected for Sarasota County.