PennDOT says Cumberland Co. intersection helped show roundabouts cut traffic injuries, fatalities

19 September 2023- The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced today that according to department data, fatalities, injuries, and crashes decreased overall after intersections at 39 locations were replaced with 42 roundabouts.

“PennDOT is continuing its work to identify and implement innovations and best practices across Pennsylvania,” PennDOT Secretary Mike Carroll. “I’m proud to see that the data on roundabouts remains consistent on saving lives and reducing crash severity.”

PennDOT recently reviewed data for 36 single-lane and six multi-lane roundabouts on state routes at intersections that were previously stop or signal controlled. This update to data released in 2022 now includes an additional seven roundabouts. These intersections were selected based on having at least three years of crash data available before and after the roundabouts were built. This accounts for a total of 460 before years and 250 after years of data.

Department data from 2003 through 2022 obtained from police-submitted crash reports and weighted based on the number of before and after years, but not for increases in traffic volume shows that crashes involving suspected serious injuries were reduced by 24%; crashes involving suspected non-serious injuries were reduced by 51%; and the total number of crashes were reduced by 3%.

Although roundabouts are frequently installed to address intersections with safety issues, they are also commonly installed to improve traffic flow or for other reasons such as traffic calming. 

The seven new roundabouts included in this review are at the following intersections:

  • Berks County:
    • Route 73 and Lynx Drive, opened in 2019.
    • Route 73 and Oley Road, opened in 2019. 
  • Bucks County:
    • Route 4049 (Tollgate Road) and Old Bethlehem Pike, opened in 2019. 
  • Crawford County:
    • Route 6/322 and Route 19/98, opened in 2019. 
  • Cumberland County:
    • Route 2017 (Lisburn Road) and Rossmoyne Road, opened in 2019. 
  • Luzerne County:
    • Route 2008 (Middle Road) and Prospect Street, opened in 2019. 
  • Wyoming County:
    • Route 1017 (College Ave.) and Edwards Lane, opened in 2019.

Additional roundabouts included in this review can be found on the PennDOT website.

In addition to the 42 that met the selection criteria, 36 other roundabouts have been built on state routes.

Although roundabouts are typically safer and more efficient than traditional signalized intersections, they may not always be the best option due to topography or other reasons, such as property impacts, capacity issues and proximity to other intersections.