Real American Strength


Allen County Engineer

Shawnee and Ft. Amanda Roads Roundabout



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Roundabout Project Summary

The intersection of Shawnee Rd. and Fort Amanda Rd. in Shawnee Township is one of the most frequently used intersections in Allen County, over 14,000 cars travel through each day. Because of the high traffic volume, the traditional intersection model is no longer the safest, most efficient design for these two roads. To improve the intersection a corridor study was conducted, which indicated a roundabout would be the best alternative for the intersection. Since this will be the first roundabout in Allen County, we are excited and we want you to be excited too! This is the single largest project the county has ever taken on so we invite you to learn a little more below.

Click to enlarge.

Frequently asked questions (click on the question for more information)

What exactly does the Shawnee Road Roundabout project entail?

The project at the intersection of Shawnee and Ft. Amanda roads includes the following:

  • Bridge Replacement
  • Two-lane Roundabout
  • Sidewalks                              
  • Lighting
  • Landscaping and other aesthetics
  • Bike path (connecting the roundabout to the Rotary Riverwalk)

What's a roundabout?

A roundabout is a circular intersection with traffic flowing in a counter-clockwise direction around a center island. There are no stop signs or stop lights, all traffic entering the roundabout must yield to the traffic already inside the circle.  Roundabouts are designed to reduce vehicle speeds, which calms traffic and increases safety.  Since traffic continually flows through the intersection, delays and congestion are decreased.

Why a roundabout?

The roundabout design was selected from 13 different alternatives because it provided the following:

  1. highest Level of Service (based on a grading system)
  2. greatest reduction of congestion
  3. largest reserve capacity in the future
  4. safest intersection design (see chart below)

Which direction does the traffic flow in a roundabout?

All traffic flows in a counter-clockwise around the center island.

What is the speed limit inside the roundabout?

The roundabout is designed to maintain speeds around 15-20 mph.

How are roundabouts different than traditional intersections?

Rather than using stop lights or stop signs, a roundabout is a one way traffic circle with yield signs controlling the entrance points.  Drivers enter the roundabout by yielding to vehicles already inside; this allows traffic to flow through the intersection with little to no stopping of traffic.

How are roundabouts different than traffic circles?

Unlike traffic circles and rotaries, modern roundabouts are smaller and are geometrically designed to reduce vehicle speeds.  They use roadway curvature to slow down approaching vehicles and splitter islands to channel vehicles into the roundabout.  They are also yield controlled, meaning there are no stop signs or stop lights.  Traffic inside the roundabout has the right-of-way. All traffic entering the roundabout must “yield- to- the-left” to the traffic already inside the circle.

How do I navigate a roundabout?

Reduce your speed when approaching the intersection. Modern roundabouts are designed for slower vehicle speeds, around 15 to 20 mph, which improves safety for both vehicles and pedestrians.

You should select your lane before entering the intersection. Just like a signalized intersection, follow the signage and make sure your lane will take you to your destination.  For instance, to make a left turn you should be in the left lane.  If you’re going right you should be in the right lane.

YIELD to pedestrians and bicyclists that may be using the crosswalks as you enter or exit the roundabout.  Vehicles already inside the circle have the right-of-way.  Therefore, all traffic entering the roundabout must yield to the vehicles already inside.  Do not enter the roundabout until both lanes of traffic from the left have cleared.  Find a gap in traffic and then adjust your speed to fill that gap while proceeding into the roundabout. 

Do not change your lane once inside the roundabout. Once you enter the roundabout you have the right-of-way.  However, you should stay in your selected lane and maintain your speed, DO NOT PASS.

Use your turn signal to inform others of your intensions and exit.

If an emergency vehicle approaches DO NOT STOP IN THE ROUNDABOUT. If you are outside the roundabout, simply pull over as normal.  However, if you are inside the roundabout, continue to your desired destination, exit and then pull over.

How do I turn right at a roundabout?

  1. Approach the roundabout in the right-hand lane.  (See diagram)
  2. Yield to traffic inside and enter the roundabout when an adequate gap appears. 
  3. Use your right turn signal and complete the turn and exit.

How do I continue straight at a roundabout?

  1. Approach the roundabout in either the left or right lane.  (See diagram)
  2. Yield to both lanes of traffic inside and enter the roundabout when an adequate gap appears. 
  3. Do not change lanes inside the roundabout.  Continue in your lane and exit.

 How do I turn left or make a "U" at a roundabout?

  1. Approach the roundabout in the left.  (See diagram)
  2. Yield to both lanes of traffic inside and enter the roundabout when an adequate gap appears. 
  3. Stay in the left or “inside” lane the entire time.  Do not change lanes inside the roundabout.  When you approach your exit, use your turn signal to notify others of your intent to exit. 
  4. When exiting from the inside lane, be aware of vehicles navigating incorrectly in the right lane attempting to circulate beyond your exit.

What should I do if an emergency vehicle is approaching the roundabout?

If you are outside the roundabout, simply pull over as you normally would.  However, if you are inside the roundabout, continue to your desired destination, exit and then pull over.  Do NOT stop in the roundabout. 

How do roundabouts reduce traffic accidents?

Roundabouts reduce accidents because they:

  1. Are designed to reduce vehicle speeds.
  2. Eliminate left hand turns (the most dangerous maneuver drivers can make)
  3. Nearly eliminate head-on collisions
  4. Creates smaller collision angles and fewer conflict points with their circular shape.

These features make roundabouts simpler than traditional intersections, so when accidents do occur they are typically less severe. According to the Federal Highway Administration roundabouts are proven to reduce all crashed by 35%, injury related crashes by 76% and fatalities by 90%.

How do roundabouts reduce pollution levels?

Unlike typical intersections, roundabouts are controlled with yield signs and therefore vehicles aren’t required to stop and idle while waiting for the signal to change.  In most cases cars will simply slow down, rather than stopping and starting again, which creates less fuel emissions.

How do pedestrians navigate a roundabout?

Just like all intersections, drivers are required to yield to pedestrians.  However, pedestrians must use the designated crosswalks at each leg of the roundabout.  These crosswalks utilize the splitter islands as safe areas for pedestrians, so they only need to concentrate on one direction of traffic at a time.

How should bicyclists approach a roundabout?

Advanced bikers may follow driving guidelines and bike with the flow of traffic in the roundabout.   All other bikers should walk their bikes through the pedestrian crosswalks at each leg of the roundabout.

Can roundabouts accommodate large vehicles, such as buses or tractor-trailers?

Yes, modern roundabouts are designed with extra wide lanes and a raised concrete pad around the edge of the center island called a “truck apron”.  This apron provides extra room for the rear wheels of large vehicles to travel on while making the turn.  However, drivers should avoid driving next to these vehicles as they need extra space and typically straddle both lanes when navigating through a roundabout. 

How does this help tax payers?

Because roundabouts don’t utilize traffic lights, they require less maintenance and utilities costs than traditional traffic intersections. The Transportation Research Board has found that roundabouts have a service life of approximately 25 years, while traffic signal intersections have a 10 year service life.



Click to view the video.
Click here to download an interactive Flash animation demonstrating proper usage of roundabouts. (Click the arrows or symbols in the lower left corner of the animation window to view various roundabout maneuvers.)

Additional videos

  • Click here to view a video of a modern roundabout
  • Click here to view a video by the Minnesota Local Road Research Board
  • Click here to view a video by the Federal Highway Administration
  • Click here to view "How to Drive a Roundabout" by The Mid Ohio Regional Planning Commission

    Public Involvement Meeting Presentations

  • Click here to view the 2-7-08 Public Involvement Meeting Presentation.
  • Click Here to view the 11-12-09 Public Involvement Meeting Presentation

    Information on Modern Roundabouts

  • City of Green
  • Federal Highway Administration
  • Dublin, OH
  • Arizona Department of Transportation
  • Wisconsin Department of Transportation