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Southern IN drivers navigate new roundabouts

Published: Aug. 31, 2015 at 3:05 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 15, 2015 at 3:22 PM EDT
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Drivers began using the new roundabout on Sunday. (Source: Dale Mader, WAVE 3 News)
Drivers began using the new roundabout on Sunday. (Source: Dale Mader, WAVE 3 News)
Signs warn drivers about the roundabout. (Source: Dale Mader, WAVE 3 News)
Signs warn drivers about the roundabout. (Source: Dale Mader, WAVE 3 News)

JEFFERSONVILLE, IN (WAVE) – For a lot of southern Indiana drivers, Monday morning was their first chance to try out brand new roundabouts.

The interchange eventually will connect to the East End Crossing. The modified roundabouts opened over the weekend.

[PREVIOUS STORY: Roundabouts coming to new Clark Co. interchange]

These new intersections are part of the latest completed phase of the East End Crossing project in southern Indiana and are located at State Road 265 at the Port Road and State Road 62 interchange. On a roundabout, drivers won't see any stop signs or traffic lights. The goal is to make it much easier to transition to other roadways.

"This particular roundabout will provide a lot of service for people coming from the new East End Crossing onto Port Road or people on Port Road that need to get to State Road 265," WVB East End Partners spokesman Dan Hartlage said.

Hartlage reminded driver to keep in mind it is still an active construction zone, and it does take a few times around to figure it out. The best thing to remember is that traffic inside the roundabout has the right of way, and as drivers enter the roundabout, they'll need to pay attention to the yield signs.

Some southern Indiana drivers are frustrated as they attempt to navigate the multiple new roundabouts.

"It's just unbelievable," driver Tony Woods said. "I just can't believe who would design that in that way."

Hartlage said it's important to keep in mind that the idea is not to have to change lanes once drivers enter the roundabout.

"As you are approaching a roundabout, know ahead of time what road you want to get on," Hartlage said. "Look at the signage and understand what lane you need to be in based on what road you need to get to."

Use caution as the speed limit is 25 miles-per-hour.

"The roundabouts, while still relatively new and something you don't see a whole lot of, is a growing trend," Hartlage said.

While not every driver is on board yet, some believe it will just take time.

"I think it will be kind of difficult for people to adapt, but once you drive, you do it a few times, it should be over with," driver Justine Knowles said.

Studies show roundabouts are safer than traditional intersections. According to the Federal Highway Administration, roundabouts have proven to decrease fatalities by 90 percent and all crashes by 35 percent.

Eventually State Road 265 will continue eastward past the interchange and directly connect to the new east end bridge when it opens in late 2016.

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