Roundabouts pop up around NWLA

Roundabouts pop up around NWLA
LA431 and LA42 before the roundabout (Source: DOTD)
LA431 and LA42 before the roundabout (Source: DOTD)

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - You either love them or you hate them, but a new safety campaign in Louisiana says they could save your life.

Roundabouts are popping up all over Louisiana and just last week one was completed near Old Mooringsport Road and Ravendale Drive along Highway 538.

The Department of Transportation constructed the roundabout to reduce fatalities near accident prone intersections.

According to the DOTD, these roundabouts reduce traffic fatalities by up to 90 percent.

Myrtys Jenkins, a resident who leaves near the new roundabout says the effects of the roundabout are clear as day.

"I think it's a safe place now as far as traffic, I really do," Jenkins said.

She added that before the roundabout there was a dangerous 3-way intersection located in the same spot. At that intersection car crashes were common.

"Yes they had quite a few accidents. One person got killed right there I think it was a doctor," she continued.

While fairly new to Louisiana, roundabouts have been used across the country to help combat growing numbers of crash related deaths.

Louisiana Troop G PIO Matt Harris says if it works in these other cities, there's no reason it could not work in Shreveport.

"If you take a study before and after the roundabouts statistics show that they reduced traffic crashes, that's our ultimate goal."

Louisiana State Police and the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development came together, under the Roundabout Safety campaign, to make sure the roundabouts go where they are most needed and to educate residents about how to use them.

"You got the three E's; enforcement, engineering and education," Harris said.

According to Harris, the departments work together to show drivers, especially new drivers, the proper way to navigate the roundabouts. They believe the key to introducing new roadways such as roundabouts is to start young.

Using social media, DOTD has created videos about how to properly drive through a roundabout as well as roundabout safety facts.

On Facebook, several users expressed their dismay with the roadway.

Comments ranged from advising other drivers to avoid them to people admitting they don't know how to use them.

Wayne Jordan says that like with most things the roundabouts will take some getting used to.

"Us old people we have a hard time with change. When you get something new, it kind of scares us a little bit.. because we don't know what's going on," Jordan said.

However, he adds that he thinks roundabouts, such as the one located near Margaritaville, are a good idea.

"I think it's safe it keeps traffic moving," he said. Adding that he was not too confident in their ability to work well in high traffic areas and highways.

According to the DOTD, more roundabouts will be popping up throughout Northwest Louisiana.

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