TDOT OFFICIAL STATEMENT ON ROUNDABOUT
Back in February 2021, the Regional Traffic Engineering office submitted 22 projects for spot safety funding. One of these projects was the 4-way intersection of US 70 (SR 1) @ SR 101 & SR 392 on the east side of Crossville. The intersection is currently an all-way stop and TDOT is proposing the concept of a roundabout.
Generally speaking, roundabouts are a free-flow intersection design used as a proven safety countermeasure because they can substantially reduce crashes that result in serious injury or death. Roundabouts improve safety, promote lower speeds and traffic calming, reduce conflict points, lead to improved operational performance, and meet a wide range of traffic conditions because they are versatile in size, shape, and design.
During our 3-year study of this intersection (from 2018 to 2021), there were 14 reported crashes. Seven of these crashes were right angle crashes. Furthermore, there were seven crashes with injuries. At an all-way stop, this should not be occurring.
TDOT is proposing a single-lane roundabout that would keep the existing bypass right turn lanes on all four corners. Fortunately, the department already has enough right-of-way at the intersection to accommodate this design. This roundabout would include a 10’ mountable truck apron to allow large vehicles with trailers to negotiate the intersection. The roundabout would be designed in accordance with all state standards, which are largely copied from federal standards.
Across the nation and across the State of Tennessee, roundabouts have been installed at crash-prone intersections with great success. They are a proven countermeasure to combat the type of crashes and traffic operations we are seeing at this intersection in Cumberland County. Furthermore, TDOT would not recommend a roundabout unless confident that it would be successful in reducing delay and congestion, and affording a smoother commute for all motorists.