AFNS – Madison

Wisconsin’s Department of Transportation (WIDOT) is ready to implement a new style of roundabout on the state’s highways that it says is more efficient and safe.

“The new roundabouts will have no exit,” said WIDOT traffic engineer Leflin Hoggslo in an announcement on Sunday, April 1. “By keeping the driver in the loop, we eliminate driver error on such questions on whether or not to use a turn signal.”

Hoggslo said he was inspired by the number of drivers who enter a roundabout but fail to exit when they should, making another complete circle around before exiting. Hoggslo also said that by reducing the number of exit options to zero that WIDOT expects the number of vehicles stopping in a middle of a roundabout waiting for other traffic to enter to be reduced dramatically.

“We were quite impressed with the success of our new ‘ambulance test’ in the exitless loop on the test track,” Hoggslo said. “Assembly Speaker Robin Vos was kind enough to let us borrow his ambulance as long as he could ride in the back while Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke drove. With that kind of legislative buy-in, how could we say no?”

Hoggslo admitted that drivers may find it more difficult to get to their destinations, but the safety results of the ambulance test could not be denied. “As far as I know, Vos and Steineke are still spinning,” Hoggslo said.

WIDOT Secretary Dave Ross told AFNS that Wisconsinites can expect more innovations like the exitless roundabout that will also yield some cost savings for the taxpayers.

“We’re discovering that as we move all of the exits to the right lane, the left and center lanes are utilized less,” Ross said. “We’re going to be experimenting in the near future with not building left lanes. We believe it won’t affect traffic congestion and we’ll save money on construction.”