Forsyth County’s engineering department reminds motorists to do the following:
• Use caution and yield to traffic in the roundabout, which has a 20 mph speed limit.
• Drivers should signal their turn just prior to exiting at their desired turn.
• Tim Allen, the county’s assistant director of engineering, also said the concrete island and brick in the middle and on the sides of the roundabout are meant to be driven on if needed.
“It was designed to withstand being driven upon for those pulling a trailer or who need a bit more room to maneuver,” he said.
The first roundabout at the juncture of two county roads has debuted in north Forsyth.
The roundabout at Hopewell and Jot-em-Down roads, which features crosswalks aimed at pedestrian safety, replaced a multi-way stop.
According to a Forsyth County government report, roundabouts can have several advantages over traditional stops.
Those include a free-flow design that increases efficiency and helps reduce backups.
Tim Allen, the county’s assistant director of engineering, said rush hour traffic has improved since the roundabout opened earlier this fall.
“[It] keeps traffic moving much better than the previous multi-way stop,” Allen said. “This keeps cars from idling, which in turn helps reduce air pollution.”
Roundabouts also provide a financial benefit, since they require less right of way, according to the county report.
In addition, roundabouts aren’t impacted by power outages because they don’t require power.
The project, awarded to Baldwin Paving Co. for about $243,000, was funded by the county’s current round of 1-cent sales tax collections.
While the roundabout is the first for Forsyth, it’s a feature that likely will appear at other local intersections.
“Implementing more roundabouts throughout the county is certainly something we will consider,” Allen said.
“We will evaluate roundabouts as options to determine at which intersections thvey would be more effective than a traffic signal. We look at each … on a case-by-case basis to determine the best fit and the best way [it] can work.”