ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — One of the safest and most efficient ways of traffic control is being brought to the City of Rockford’s attention, as they announced it will be “Roundabout Awareness Week.”

Roundabouts have a safety factor to them, but they are also extremely efficient for creating smooth traffic flow.

“People who, you know, who don’t care for it, but I don’t think they remember how it was when you could routinely wait 5 minutes to get through the intersection when it used to be traffic signals,” said Jeremy Carter, traffic and development engineer for the City of Rockford.

The City of Rockford just announced that September 18 is the beginning of “National Roundabouts Week,” which is promoting information and reminding the community of how efficient and safe these ways of travel are.

“We got our first roundabout a little over a decade ago, and there was a lot of public outreach, public education on the roundabout, and now, the Main and Auburn Roundabout is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, and we just felt that getting out there and kind of re-educating the citizens on how to use it, you know, there’s never anything wrong with,” Carter said.

There are four roundabouts in the city:

  • Main and Auburn
  • Seminary and College
  • Mercy and Lyford
  • Airport and Kishwaukee

Roundabouts reduce injury crashes by 76% and fatal crashes by 90%. There are plans for more to come to Rockford.

“They’re safer than traditional traffic signal-controlled intersections because there’s less conflict points there for it. Also, the speeds are slower,” Carter said. “Therefore, when there are accidents, they tend to be less severe. They have just in the last 15, 20 years, started to get popularity in the Midwest.”

Friends of Veterans Memorial Circle have teamed up with city leaders all week in hopes of educating the community.

“Rush hour right now, and I don’t think anybody, any car has waited more than 10 seconds to get through here, and this is part of the peak traffic,” said Ernie Redfern, co-chair of Friends of Veterans Memorial Circle. “And, I mean, the efficiencies of roundabouts over lighted intersections is phenomenal.”

The City of Rockford has been posting many quizzes and information graphics on “Roundabout Awareness Week.” Those interested should visit Rockford’s Facebook page.