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Roundabouts a Success in Green Bay

Mark Lenters, PE | with 0 Comments


Roundabouts a Success in Green Bay

Throughout the past 10 years, WisDOT implemented a remarkable statewide roundabout program, with emphasis on the Green Bay area, which has a concentration of four complex roundabouts at US-41 interchanges. This is one reason Green Bay became home to the 5th International Conference on Roundabouts this past May. Ourston Engineering, a division of MSA, has been instrumental in working with WisDOT to generate design concepts and prove the case for roundabouts. 
 
History of the International Conference on Roundabouts
In 1997, a group of pioneering engineers, including Leif Ourston, met to inaugurate the roundabout community's first conference in Loveland, Colo. Roundabouts had become a popular subject, so the time had come to develop an independent forum for would-be roundabout enthusiasts to collaborate and debate the research and applications for modern roundabouts.
 
Fast-forward to present day, four conferences later. We've benefited from U.S. research into safety and capacity effects of roundabouts, courtesy of our committed partners at Kittleson Associates. Concurrently, the University of Wisconsin-Madison made significant contributions to roundabout research, which contributed to statewide knowledge with before and after studies and studies of local capacity parameters.  
 
Roundabouts in the U.S. 
Just 12 years ago, Vail, Colo. had the highest concentration of complex roundabouts. Since roundabouts have popped up in various states, including Kansas, Washington and Indiana—all locations that have distinguished themselves as places of significance in the roundabout revolution.
 
Presently, the Green Bay area has the highest concentration of complex multilane roundabouts in the U.S. They have interchanges, strings of three and four that are closely spaced and local roundabouts with bike and pedestrian-friendly accommodations. Those that attended the conference in Green Bay sampled these roundabouts by driving, walking or cycling during the conference with bus tours to specific locations. People were inspired by the scale and complexity of the designs, many of which were initiated with leadership from WisDOT visionaries Jerry Zogg, Pat Fleming, Mike Berg, Bob Schuurmans, Mike King, Paul Vraney, Randy Asman and many others. These leaders could foresee the safety and congestion relief benefits of roundabouts.
 
It has been a great privilege for Ourston to have the trust of WisDOT staff to assist and facilitate the development of their roundabout program.
 
We are excited to offer a quarterly newsletter, Wide Nodes and Narrow Roads, for those in our roundabout community and especially those who have made this journey with Ourston, now part of the MSA team with offices in Atlanta, Dallas and throughout the Midwest. Sign up now to have the latest roundabout news delivered straight to your inbox.
 
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