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New York State Department of Transportation Acting Commissioner Paul A. Karas announced Wednesday that work will begin this month on two projects that will convert traditional intersections into modern roundabouts. Roundabouts are safer, more sustainable and more efficient than traditional intersections and are becoming more common across the State. Single-lane roundabouts will be built at the intersection of Route 13 with Trumbulls Corners Road, in Newfield, Tompkins County, and at the intersection of Routes 31 and 298 in Bridgeport, Onondaga County, just west of Point Place Casino.

"Building new roundabouts at these locations will greatly reduce the risk of deadly crashes, improve traffic flow and boost local air quality," Acting Commissioner Karas said. "As with all our transportation improvement projects, roundabouts support Governor Cuomo's effort to boost local economies by providing quick, convenient access to area businesses."

A roundabout is a circular intersection without traffic signals, which is engineered to maximize safety and minimize congestion. Traffic travels counterclockwise with ramps for incoming traffic to yield.

The $1.3 million project on Route 13 in Tompkins County begins this week and is expected to be completed this fall. Motorists should expect to encounter daily lane closures with a temporary traffic signal.

Tompkins County Legislative Chair Martha‎ Robertson said, "The new modern roundabout is a welcome addition to the people of Tompkins County, and will make travel through Newfield safer for everyone. We strongly support this investment from NYSDOT and Governor Cuomo."

Work on Route 31 in Bridgeport is being performed as part of a larger contract and will include installing new pavement markings and signage. The roundabout will provide easier and more efficient access to the numerous businesses located along Route 31, including Point Place Casino to the east.

The project, which will take approximately one week to complete, will begin later this month and be finished before Labor Day weekend. Motorists should expect to encounter daily lane closures.

Roundabouts see a decrease in the severity of crashes, which typically occur at a slow speed and include side swipes and fender-benders, greatly reducing the chance of injuries or fatalities in deadly head-on or T-bone crashes.

Traffic flows more freely through roundabouts than at traditional intersections, cutting congestion and commute time. Reduced vehicle idling time means fewer fuel emissions and improved air quality. Roundabouts eliminate the need for electricity-powered traffic signals, provide a more walkable community, and an aesthetically pleasing landscape.

Drivers are reminded:

  • Watch traffic signs and pavement markings to determine the correct lane to be in before entering the roundabout. Once inside the roundabout do not change lanes.
  • Use the left lane to make left turns and use the right lane to make right turns. Follow signs and markings to determine which lane(s) go straight.
  • Traffic in the roundabout has the right-of-way.
  • Vehicles wishing to enter should yield at the yield line and look for oncoming traffic on their left.
  • Enter the roundabout when there is an adequate gap in the circulating traffic flow.
  • Always yield to pedestrians and keep crosswalks clear.
  • Cars and trucks should yield to bicycle traffic and not pass them.
  • As you approach your exit, turn on your right turn signal.

Bicyclists are permitted to ride within the roundabout and should follow the flow of traffic, riding in the middle of the lane to prevent being passed or cut off. Hand turning signals should be used. If bicyclists choose not to ride in the roundabout, they should dismount prior to the intersection and proceed as a pedestrian walking their bicycle, on the sidewalk if present.

Crosswalks for pedestrians are generally just outside of the main flow of the roundabout's traffic. Walkers, runners, and dismounted bikers should always to look before crossing and only cross one direction of traffic at a time. Never cross to the center island.

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