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Ask a Trooper: Roundabout popularity

Question: Roundabouts are popping up all over around Minnesota. How many are there in other places? Are they just as popular in other countries or not?

Answer: According to figures put out recently by the Center for Transportation Studies, University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, there are about 2,000 roundabouts in the United States. If you think that’s a lot, you can compare that to France, who has about 20,000 roundabouts, or to Australia who has about 15,000 roundabouts. The U.K. is also reported to have about 10,000 roundabouts.

You can see by these figures that roundabouts are very popular and no doubt will gain in popularity here in our own country in the future. I understand that some people don’t like them initially, but they are very safe, and they save lives, time and money so you will continue to see them being built and used. Actually, roundabouts are the safest intersections we have - they eliminate right angle crashes and slow down traffic. Roundabouts cost about the same as an intersections with lights.

If you have any questions for future columns concerning motor vehicle traffic in Minnesota, please send your questions to: “ASK A TROOPER” c/o Sgt. Curt S. Mowers, MN State Patrol, P.O. Box 644, Brainerd, MN, 56401, or email questions to with Ask a Trooper in the subject line. Questions are edited.