CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Roundabouts have become a thing in the Charlotte area. Several of the traffic calming circles have been built in our region the past few years and at least 11 more are under construction or pending.
Rigo Alvarado has property near the US National Whitewater Center in west Mecklenburg say the roundabout on Moores Chapel Road is an improvement over a traditional intersection with traffic lights. "It's about safety and I think it's good," said Alavrado.
He and neighbors will have to deal with orange barrels once again, as a new roundabout a few yards from the current one is under construction closer to Rhyne Road.
Construction typically takes several weeks and inconveniences drivers with detours and added congestion in the short-term. In Mint Hill, neighborhoods between Idlewild and Lawyers Roads experienced an uptick in cut-through traffic as a roundabout was built along Matthews-Mint Hill and Idlewild Roads over the summer.
Now rush-hour traffic has improved according to several neighbors and drivers WBTV interviewed. "I have a few clients that cannot stand it," said Vicky Williams at Pizza Spiga. "You get used to it and it keeps traffic flowing," said Williams about the initial adjustment.
Judith Collazo agreed. "It's helped massively with the flow of traffic."
Construction on another roundabout is expected to begin next week in Union County at North Rocky River and Secrest Shortcut Roads. The roundabout is part of the bigger Monroe Expressway project.
A study by the North Carolina Department of Transportation on 30 intersections with roundabouts found that crashes were reduced by 46 percent. Crashes in which someone died or was injured were reduced even further, by 75 percent.
"They are used to reduce crashes, reduce speed, and keep traffic flowing more efficiently," said Jen Thompson, Communications Officer for the NC DOT.
Here are regional roundabout projects that are either under construction or pending with the NC DOT:
- Lawyers Rd at Bain School Rd - Pending
- Moores Chapel Rd at Rhyne Rd – Under Construction
- Waxhaw-Indian Trail Rd at Beulah Ch Rd – Under Construction
- New Town Rd at Marvin School and at Waxhaw-Marvin Rd - Pending
- New Town at Waxhaw-Indian Trail Rd - Pending
- NC 75 at Rocky River Rd – Pending
- NC 200 at McWhorter Rd - Pending
- NC 200 at Providence Rd – Pending
- NC 218 at NC 200 - Pending
- NC 218 at NC 205 - Pending
- NC 218 at Mill Grove Rd - Pending