UPDATED 6/11/20 with additional photos (see below)
Academic research indicates that roundabouts decrease safety issues for automobiles and pedestrians. Many different states, such as Washington and Kansas, choose roundabouts over signalized intersections due to the safety benefits. There’s even been an episode of Mythbusters on the topic, which concluded that roundabouts are safer for drivers.
There are fewer collisions at roundabouts and those that do occur happen at slower speeds. This results in less severity of injuries and fewer deaths. Roundabouts are safer for pedestrians, cyclists and automobile drivers, with or without passengers.
Maui County has begun work on a second one years after our successful one in Kihei on Piikea Avenue. The Kihei Community Association is very pleased that the State Department of Transportation agrees to creating a roundabout fronting the future high school at Kulanihakoi.
On the list of supportive reasons for having a roundabout as part of the transportation plan for a community, there are also factors of costs and convenience. The multi-lane, multi-signalized intersection at the Ohukai Road and Pi’ilani Highway is obviously NOT A ROUNDABOUT and it needs help. This is a “traditional” signalized intersection with more than a dozen light fixtures- we think 16. Of course each fixture has at least 3 lights, so minimally 26 lights., but we’d guess twice that.
What happens each a time a single light stops working? The County has to stop traffic and get it repaired. This costs money for labor, time and is an inconvenience for travelers on the road. Lights will wear out and malfunction. Imagine the costs involved when an automobile crashes into one of the light posts! $$$! You cannot run a red light at a roundabout and you cannot crash into one either.