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The Oregon Department of Transportation lays out its reasons for a roundabout at Highway 213 and Toliver Road

The Oregon Department of Transportation, in partnership with the City of Molalla, is designing a project to improve safety at the intersection of Highway 213 and Toliver Road in Molalla by constructing a roundabout.

Currently, the intersection of Highway 213 and Toliver Road is controlled by stop signs and has a high rate of accidents. According to ODOT, a roundabout will improve safety by reducing sharp turns while also accommodating the type of traffic that uses it, including large vehicles like trucks, buses and agricultural equipment.

COURTESY GRAPHIC: ODOT - A look at how a roundabout at Highway 213 and Toliver Road might look when completed.

In 2018, ODOT conducted a Road Safety Audit which studied the safety concerns and travel through the intersection and identified potential solutions. Through this audit and work with local agencies and engineers, it was determined a roundabout will bring the greatest safety benefits.

Construction is planned to begin in 2023.

Improving safety

The intersection of Highway 213 and Toliver Road has a high crash rate, within the top 10 percent of all highway segments in the state.

Between 2007 and the end of 2016, there were 38 crashes and 83 percent of crashes resulted in injury. The construction of a roundabout, according to ODOT, will improve safety for travelers while still allowing turning movements.

According to the Federal Highway Administration, roundabouts are safer than traditional intersections.

Locations with roundabouts can see a: 90% reduction in fatalities, 76% reduction in injuries, and a 35% reduction in all crashes.

What is a roundabout?

A roundabout is a type of circular intersection that uses yield signs to control traffic entering the intersection. Roundabouts are designed with curved entrances to reduce speeds and to reduce high-speed, head-on, right-angle and turning crashes, which improves safety.

Why not install a traffic signal?

While a traffic signal may facilitate all the directions of traffic and turns, installing new traffic signals can result in an increase in rear-end crashes. In rural areas, new traffic signals are associated with a 77% reduction in angle crashes, but also a 58% increase in rear-end crashes, which can be severe and fatal in high-speed areas.

Traffic signals do not address speeds at an intersection - roundabouts do reduce speeds. Often drivers accelerate through an intersection to try to make it through before the signal turns red, which is dangerous.

A roundabout was found to facilitate all directions of traffic and turning movements while bringing the greatest safety benefits, including reducing speeds into the community.

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