Roundabouts are getting to be an accepted method of getting vehicles safely and smoothly through intersections.  A few have opened in Northwestern Pennsylvania over the past couple years.  The City of Erie, however, is still waiting for its first roundabout. That soon could change.

Roundabouts have popped up in communities such as Saegertown and Waterford.   Also, Millfair Road and Route 5 on the Millcreek/Fairview line.  All vehicles enter and exit a roundabout with a right turn, and they must yield to oncoming traffic before entering the roundabout. PennDOT says it creates a smoother flow of traffic at congested intersections.

Safety is another reason PennDOT likes roundabouts. There have been fatalities on the Bayfront Parkway and Bayfront Connector in Erie. According to Jim Foringer, PennDOT District One Executive, roundabouts experience a 90% reduction in fatal crashes, 75% fewer injury crashes, and 30 to 40%  less pedestrian accidents.

PennDOT is serious about the possibility of roundabouts on the Bayfront Parkway and Connector at State Street, Sassafras Street, , Holland Street, and East 12th Street.

"We're beyond the study phase.  We're actually developing conceptual plans that are in the very early stages.  From that study though, that area of the parkway study corridor, indicated that there were 246 crashes along the corridor in a 5 year period,” Foringer said.


 Public hearings will be held first.   But, a decision on roundabouts on the Bayfront Parkway could be made by the end of this year.