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Internationally, roundabouts are a common road configuration. As time has passed, they have increasingly become an option in the United States as an attempt to slow traffic and utilize limited road space. Recently, more of them are showing up in Minnesota. Recently, the Mendota Heights City Council approved a roundabout at Visitation Drive and Mendota Heights Road, the intersection closest to Convent of the Visitation School.

Last week, I happened to drive on the couple out near Hutchinson. They look good and once people get the hang of them, they should meet their goals. Federal studies have shown that roundabouts drop the number of overall crashes by 35 percent and the number of injury crashes by 76 percent.

Hopefully as more people use it we will all see the benefits. With more roundabouts coming to the surrounding counties it will be something that more Minnesotans will need to get used to. The New York Transportation Department has posted a number of very helpful animations as to how to best use these changes. Simply getting used to slowing down should help, as reaction times will be longer and most impacts should be less severe.

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