Roundabout 1st Birthday

Today marks the first anniversary of the roundabout in Marquette, where South Front Street intersects with the US–41 bypass.

So, how effective has it been?

The changes to the traffic pattern created by the roundabout involved a learning process for local drivers.

But MDOT says everyone seems to have figured it out, and drivers didn’t need very long to do it, either.

MDOT transportation engineer Andy Sikkema says there have only been four crashes reported to the Marquette Police at the roundabout since it opened.

That marks a 65% decline in crashes from the old setup.

No one was seriously hurt in any of those accidents.

MDOT was hoping for a 50% reduction in crashes.

But besides safety improvements, the intersection has experienced operational improvements.

Sikkema says there are a lot fewer traffic backups at that intersection now with the roundabout in place than there were with the old configuration.

The 2009 federal stimulus bill, or the American Recovery and Re–Investment Act, paid for the roundabout’s construction.