Green adding more roundabouts to increase traffic flow, decrease crashes

GREEN, Ohio - With two roundabouts already finished, two more already underway and many more on the drawing board, the city of Green expects to have more than any other city in northeast Ohio.

"By 2025, with the numbers that are on the design board now, we are going to have at least 10, but the goal is probably to try and do a roundabout a year," said project manager Dave Schmenasky.

Contractors broke ground on Tuesday for the newest of the city's roundabouts at Corporate Woods Parkway. At least three more are planned for busy Massillon Road.

Green City Engineer Paul Pickett admits he is a big fan.

"It's kind of hard to disregard that you don't have any delays, very few delays, whereas a stop-controlled intersection or a signal, you are going to be stopped at least some percentage of the time," Pickett said.

"We have a lot of intersections that have exceeded their capacity or have started to function poorly, and it's good to have another tool that is more effective we think than signals," he added.

Schemansky said statistics also show they dramatically reduce the number and severity of crashes, as opposed to traditional signaled intersections.

"Statistically, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety will point out that the accidents typically drop by almost 40 percent, injuries drop in the neighborhood of 75 percent and fatals drop just about 90 percent," Schemansky said.

For drivers, however, there is a bit of a learning curve and some anxiety.

Pickett said some drivers are more assertive than others. While the benefit of a roundabout over a stop light might be that it is supposed to keep traffic moving, people also have to understand that there is an etiquette to getting into and out of them.

"I mean, I have witnessed people stop in the middle of the roundabout. Ihave witnessed people going the opposite way," said Samantha Kapper, a Jackson Township  resident who works for the city of Green.

"It's much like, to me, getting on a highway. You yield to the people to your left who are already in the roundabout, just like you yield to people who are already on the interstate when you get on it" Pickett said.