ROUNDABOUT BLOOMIN' COUNTRY—NORTH CAROLINA
The following message appeared on August 10 on the national “roundabout listserv” hosted by Kansas State University:
“I've been working on North Carolina's inventory, and we are now at 165 roundabouts across the state, including 17 under construction, and 99 on the State highway system, but not including about 45 programmed and funded for future construction. Still waiting on updates from some larger municipalities before I'll be ready to send out our updated list. One municipality told me they have 15 roundabouts that weren't on my list, but I haven't been able to confirm design/operations (in other words, if they're roundabouts rather than traffic calming circles or the like.)”
James H. Dunlop, P.E.
Congestion Management Engineer
Transportation Mobility and Safety Division
North Carolina Department of Transportation
The North Carolina data did not happen in isolation as New York, Washington, Kansas, Virginia and Wisconsin—among other states—feature roundabout “blooms”.
Vermont, once a leader in roundabouts, provides a yardstick for the North Carolina figures. Vermont roundabouts number 10 (eight built, two under construction) or 1.6 per 100,000 population. North Carolina roundabout per 100,000 population: 1.7.
California generally receives credit for being a true laggard in adopting roundabouts. A recent count on their state transportation agency, Caltrans, roundabouts on the state highway system of 20 compares to 99 on the North Carolina system and 9 for Vermont. On a roundabouts per hundred thousand population: Vermont 1.5, North Carolina 1.2, California 0.05. Yes, California deserves "laggard" status.