Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Recycled Rubber- The Roundabout of the Future?

Roundabouts are a great way to keep traffic moving through busy intersections and increase safety. It's hard to have a serious collision when you can only rear end someone at low speeds. A few drawbacks to roundabouts though is that they take a lot of time to install, are expensive and require a lot of space. Or at least they did in the past. A new option may change all that though. Meet rubber roundabouts.

According to Creative Traffic Solutions, these roundabouts are going to change the way we build these structures. The rubber version can be installed in less than one day in many cases (versus several months when built of concrete) because the sections are bolted directly to the road surface. This makes them more flexible in that they can be installed permanently or maybe just used as a temporary solution such as during major events.

According to their website, rubber roundabout are not only less expensive than traditional roundabouts, there's also less cost when you consider the minimal amount of time traffic is disrupted to install them.

There are a variety of sizes and "fill options." And you'll be glad to hear they're made from recycled rubber and there's no need to break up existing pavement.

So think we will be seeing rubber roundabouts in our area anytime soon? Would be nice to give one a test drive. Yes, pun intended.

2 comments:

Steve said...

I love roundabouts generally, because it eliminates the need to stop 75% of the time vs a 4 way stop. One thing I hate about them is winter driving. When iced up roundabouts are not so easy to navigate and I've slid into and out of my share. These rubber roundabouts look interesting, but typically roundabouts take up more room than a 4-way stop, hence the need for months of construction. I don't quite get how these would be installed so fast unless you already had a lot of pavement in the intersection or the roundabout is much smaller than the typical.

SRTC Staff said...

I'm thinking they may be more "traffic circles" than roundabouts, because you're right- generally installing roundabouts requires purchasing right of way in which to put them and then removing whatever was already in that right of way. Which is what is so time consuming. Traffic circles are a lot smaller. Possibly you could do the usual prep for a roundabout and then put one of these rubber ones in, which would still save time because you're not pouring concrete, etc. but there would still be the prep time involved...

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SRTC is the federally designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for Spokane County. Urbanized areas with populations exceeding 50,000 people are required to have an MPO. SRTC was formed to address the county's transportation planning needs. It provides coordination in planning between the public, cities, small towns, the county, the state, transit providers, and tribes.

SRTC offers services including transportation monitoring, transportation modeling, census information analysis, travel demand forecasting, historical traffic count analysis, geographic information systems, and trip generation rates.