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Uniquely-Shaped Roundabouts: A Tailored Alternative to Circular Roundabouts

If a community is considering installing a roundabout at an existing intersection but encounters public pushback due to site constraints or property acquisition costs, a uniquely shaped roundabout might be the solution. 

Circular roundabouts are a common innovative option for existing intersections. These rounded junctions improve intersections by maintaining steady traffic flow, addressing safety concerns and promoting safe vehicle speeds. However, when installing a standard circular-shaped roundabout at a skewed intersection, geometric needs or public concern can halt the transition from a typical intersection into a roundabout. In these instances, a uniquely-shaped roundabout may provide a tailored solution to best meet the needs of the traveling public.

As the video below illustrates, uniquely-shaped roundabouts can reduce or even mitigate the need for costly property attainment, lower the amount of roadway realignment and avoid significant lifestyle impacts such as creating an intersection closer to an existing building. Overall, skewed intersections might require these uniquely-shaped roundabout solutions.


Peanut-Shaped Roundabout Wins Public Approval

While these concerns may cause local infrastructure leaders to second guess roundabouts as an intersection solution, B&N has experience creating roundabouts with unique shapes to address these issues. As part of a General Engineering Services contract, ODOT wanted to implement a roundabout at the skewed intersection of State Route 61 and Wilson Road, but two quadrants raised property attainment concerns. The existing intersection was identified as a safety concern, and a roundabout was chosen as the preferred countermeasure. B&N worked with ODOT to implement a peanut-shaped roundabout to stay within the intersection constraints. 

After coordinating multiple stakeholder meetings, the peanut shape was the preferred shape as it best fit the needs of the project. This shape is as easy to use as a circular roundabout and has been well-received by the public.