Belmont’s first ever roundabout was opened for use April 1 as a replacement for the four-way stop at the intersection of 15th and Acklen Avenues.
While it may be a new idea for Belmont students, the roundabout has actually been in talks since early 2010, said Dr. Jason Rogers, vice president for administration.
“We had a problem with people not always stopping at the four-way stop,” Rogers said. “The roundabout is going to be a lot safer.”
The recommendation for the replacement actually came from outside the university.
Nashville Metro government conducted a study before the construction of the Baskin Center in 2010 and concluded that the potential volume for traffic would be too much for a four-way stop to handle.
Construction was initially supposed to coincide with that of the Baskin Center, but was delayed till 2012 and the building of the Wedgewood Academic Center, which is slated to be completed this summer.
Another roundabout is scheduled to open this summer in front of the entrance to the Baskin Center parking garage.
It is considered that roundabouts are a much safer alternative to the traditional four-way stop. An article published on the Federal Highway Administration’s official website supports this.
“Roundabouts reduce traffic conflicts (for example, left turns) that are frequent causes of crashes at traditional intersections,” according to the article.
Although it’s only been little over a week since the roundabout opened, things have been flowing smoothly.
“People are getting used to the functioning of the roundabout,” Rogers said. “It’s going well so far.”