Carmel's Ragin' Roundabouts

January 19, 2009
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Roundabout in CarmelCarmel's plans for a total of 60 roundabouts by 2011 drew gasps of admiration from the crowd at this year's National Roundabout Conference. And ultimately, the city's dedication to the trendy traffic solution helped it win a bid to host the 2011 National Roundabout Conference. “We have already seen about an 18 percent decrease in the number of accidents along Keystone in 2008 compared to 2007,� Mayor Jim Brainard said in a statement announcing the win. The gasps came when Carmel City Engineer Mike McBride told attendees to this year's conference in Washington, D.C., that by 2011, Carmel would have more than 60 roundabouts within five miles of its Renaissance Hotel. "They were impressed with the sheer number and density of roundabouts in our community," McBride said in the statement, which is available here. "Conference attendees really want to see actual roundabouts in operation and Carmel offers the opportunity to see a large number of roundabouts in a short distance." Commence witty banter.
  • Roundabouts are one area where Indy is clearly a leader, especially Carmel. The city of Carmel itself has 5% of all the roundabouts in the entire United States. We're also seeing other towns in the region get on the bandwagon. There may be more modern roundabouts in Indianapolis than in any other metro region in the country. (I can't back that up, but I'll make the claim anyway!). The other matter is the roundabout interchanges, which again are going to be done at a scale not seen elsewhere in the United State. (If only Fishers, Noblesville, and Hamilton County would team up to do on SR 37 what Carmel is doing on Keystone). So in fact we are a national leader here.
  • Vail gots roundys too.
  • Carmel: Trendy, Density, Loopy.
  • Europe has been using roundabouts for centuries, so it's just about time the US caught onto a good idea. Wow, are you kidding, something American's didn't invent can be used?
  • There's a National Roundabout Convention?

    Am guessing they're all conservatives... none of them have a tendency to go left!
  • Hilton Head Island had a bunch of them over 20 years ago. They pulled them all out because they couldn't handle the volume of traffic.
  • Scoggles, what have been pulled out in the Eastern States were not roundabouts but rotaries. Roundabouts have a different design for the approach. The Circle downtown Indy is a rotary that requires a traditional stop and then a right turn to enter.

    The proliferation of roundabouts in central Indiana can only strengthen Indy’s image that the area is progressive. Whether you live in Indy or a burb we all are in the same game to strengthen Indiana. Every community needs to bring their A game to the table.
  • Did anybody else find this visual pretty entertaining: drew gasps of admiration
  • Is this a real post or an early April Fool's joke? This sounds like something right out of the Onion!
  • I applaud Carmel's efforts in this area. Years ago on my first business trip to Europe I was first dumbfounded by them (since I'd never seen one). I soon realized that when built properly and drivers were educated on how to navigate them they are a fantastic way to keep traffic moving.

    I wish we had more of them.
  • Yeah, imagine the shock of east-coast progressives learning that the poor dumb Hoosier suburbanites are doing something interesting. :)

    And I'm sure they all pronounced it car-MEL.
  • Cory, where's the Carmel Roundabout Map Mashup? We gotta see where these things are gonna be! LOL
  • Go Roundabouts! Beats New Jersey's idea of Jug Handles.

    There are no left turns in many areas throughout this state.
    You turn off the road to the right, follow the handle till a stoplight, when you
    proceed straight ahead.
  • Ok..I live in Carmel...some of the roundabouts are good...some are incredibly stupid...with that in mind...i like the idea of what they are doing on keystone....however.....Brainard says there was an 18% drop in accidents...that's because 2 intersections are closed right now until the roundabouts are completed. I can personally attest that 106th had alot of accidents from people running the red light..and it has been closed this past year. I will be interesting if these roundabouts work. I just feel sorry for the people who live east of keystone on 116th. if that roundabout ever goes in, they will never be able to pull out of their subdivision since there won't be a light to break up the traffic....
  • National Roundabout Conference? Really? I wonder if that's as exciting as the American Speedhump Symposium.
  • interesting thoughts tracy.

    Glad i no live in the HAMco, nuttin but trubbles. :lol:
  • Getting around the West Carmel area where I work daily is a breeze (even at rush hour) thanks to all the roundabouts. The only real bottlenecks left are crossing 31/Meridian in most places, especially 116th. Once the State installs similar ones to Keystone people and goods will be able to move north/south through the CITY of Carmel (on two separate routes) to 465/65/70/74 without hitting a single traffic light.

    It's truly amazing and a great asset to our entire MSA and region. I only hope that more munis follow such a great example!
  • I 'gasped' when I read this news...really, though, if they mayor wants to get that funding to finish up his pet project on Keystone, he should be touting bringing an INTERNATIONAL convention to town to show everyone what he's doing.

    While I can't believe there is an international convention on roundabouts, I'm glad to have them. How about one at 96th and Towne??
  • I can't decide which is more funny, the fact that they have a group of 600 people willing to meet about roundabouts, or the ridiculous $500,000 estimated economic impact Carmel is saying it will earn from hosting the event.
  • Well, if there are three room nights per person @ $200, that's $360,000 in hotel costs alone. (The rooms are likely cheaper, but let's factor catering into the number). Doesn't sound too far off to me.
  • roundy (as my dad calls them) at 96th and Towne is going in next year. So how does one attend this grand gathering to talk about turning left?? How about if they just meet at a NECKAR race where thats what they do all day!! It would save a lot of money as tickets are much cheaper than renting a room
  • Roundabouts are awesome and anybody against them is lame. They are easy to get through (compared to say a light downtown), save lots of time and lots of money. A lady at BMV (Car-MEL branch...I'm orig. from Nor-Cal) said it costs approx. $24k to maintain ONE intersection per year. Roundy maintnnce?? Uhhh mow once a week and throw some salt in the winter. Keystne will be nice when done. I once saw a car run a red light at 106th/Kystne and smoke the car directly in front of us. the guy was ok but the red light goon was on the F'N phone!!
  • BTW-isn't CARMUHL what you put on your apple at the fairgrounds?? I still don't get the accent after transplanting from CA 12 years ago
  • gasps of admiration made me laugh.

    Commence witty banter made laugh.

    So did Bradshaw's comment about conservatives!

    I love *driving* on roundabouts; my little sports car handles them fantastically. But I do worry about pedestrians using them. I've heard that there are fewer pedestrian conflict spots (or something like that) in a roundabout than in a traditional intersection, but really: how is a pedestrian able to do anything but stand there waiting for a break in traffic, then RACE across the road hoping someone (like me) isn't about to come blasting their little sports car around the circle on top of them?!
  • A good pedestrian-friendly roundabout would require the crosswalks to be set a little back from the circle itself, with lane separation on the approaching streets and a little island in the middle (as the Monon has on BR Ave.). That way you only have to get one break at a time.

    Alternately, designers could include rumblestrips or alternative paving materials to calm traffic.
  • Thanks Donna!

    I'm sure you already know that two wrongs don't make a right, but did you know that, in Carmel, three rights make a left?
  • I agree w/ tracy (#14). The roundabouts are not in operation yet on Keystone! So the 18% is due to closing 2 cross streets. Actually the majority of the drop in accidents will be from crossings being above Keystone and not the roundys. Heck if drivers would get off their cell phones, quit playing with their navagation systems, or just driving the speed limit and paying attention, you might get a significant drop. But, that's asking for too much.
  • Plus, I believe that Keystone should've been redone for 3 lanes in each direction and not 2. The right break down lane doesn't look large enough for another lane, unless you feel comfortable driving inches away from a wall (under bridges). I'm thinking 10-15 years from now when Hamilton County becomes more populated. At least they can do is make an auxiliary lane in between the intersections from the ramps.
  • Brakedeep, so that you can add to your knowledge of the English language:

       /ˈkɑrməl, kɑrˈmɛl for 1, 4; ˈkɑrməl for 2; kɑrˈmɛl for 3/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [kahr-muhl, kahr-mel for 1, 4; kahr-muhl for 2; kahr-mel for 3] Show IPA Pronunciation
    1. Mount, a mountain range in NW Israel, near the Mediterranean coast. Highest point, 1818 ft. (554 m). 14 mi. (23 km) long.
    2. a town in central Indiana. 18,272.
    3. Also called Car⋅mel-by-the-Sea  /kɑrˈmɛlˌbaɪðəˈsi/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [kahr-mel-bahy-thuh-see] Show IPA Pronunciation . a town in W California, on the Pacific Ocean: artists' colony and resort. 4707.
    4. a female given name: from a Hebrew word meaning “garden.”

    Additionally, CARAMEL is what you put on an apple at the fairgrounds.

    What accent was that you were speaking of?
  • FYI--Mr urbanophile-Carmel is not part of Indy and is not even in the same County.
  • I shoudl begin with saying I think many of the roundabouts in Carmel provide valid solutions to traffic, are aesthetically pleasing and hey I love to travel on them. BUT I agree with #14 and 27 -- as soon as I saw this article come through I had to forward it on in disbelief. How embarassing that our city officials go to Roundabout Conferences and try to show off -- did they ever think that perhaps one of the attendees impressed with the sheer number and density of roundabouts may just make a trip to Carmel to expeience the wonder in person. I would imagine the disappoint when they would find out that presently there are no completed or functioning roundabouts on Keystone. They may come to the conclusion that the 18% decline in accidents on Keystone from 2007 to 2008 could be attributed to the decreased speed limit of 40 mph and traffic avoiding Keystone due to the construction.
  • Bradshaw, Bradshaw, Bradshaw! It starts with a slight turn to the right, but then it's all veering left... well until you decide to exit.

    It seems difficult to make one of these pedestrian friendly when the whole idea is to keep traffic moving without stopping. When do the pedestrians cross? And do they get dizzy from walking in circles as well?
  • Carmeite: Carmel is, and has long been, part of the Indianapolis Metropolitan area defined by the US Government. Even if you might want to ignore everything south of 96th St.
  • Thanks idyllic... don't let the facts get in the way of my quality puns.

    They're all really clever... in a roundabout way!
  • So we have tons of roundabouts but no mass transit? Real progressive.
  • UGH, carmelite's attitude is so typical of the newly rich. Well Buffy, lets go ponder which car to take to dinner, the Jag or the Beamer. You know its all about the image dontcha know. Get a life Carmelite, what your little village is pulling off now has been done and done BETTER elsewhere in the country years ago, so in truth you and your village are nothing more than a cheap copies of other places. Although the Villages of West Clay is quite nice. And I couldnt agree more with DutchEastIndie about no significant or quality and reliable mass transit.
  • Say whatever you want about Carmel, but the truth is that Carmel's leadership on development far outweighs ANY of Indy's accomplishments in development, hands down. You people down there just keep suburbanizing your downtown, while we enjoy walkable, bikeable neighborhoods and commercial areas.
  • Please use your turn signals when exiting any roundabout at any exit. Using your turn signal makes it safer for cars merging into the roundabout and also makes it a more efficient flow of traffic as cars don't have to wait to be sure if you are exiting or not.

    Even if you are going straight through the roundabout, no one else knows your plans or often from where you entered the roundabout. So use your turn signal when exiting the roundabout.

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