In the land where the octagonal stop sign and four-way stop reigns supreme, FishHawk residents have learned the art of navigating the roundabout, a circular intersection where drivers travel counterclockwise around a center island.
The community developers’ master plan included almost a dozen roundabouts to aid the flow of traffic and plans are in the works for another to be installed at one of the neighborhood’s busy intersections by 2023.
Ask any resident to name some of the busiest (and most dangerous) cross streets in FishHawk and the intersection of Boyette Rd. and Dorman Rd. may top the list. County transportation officials agree, and part of the Operation and Safety Enhancement Program includes installing a roundabout at the intersection.
“This project will improve transportation mobility and safety for vehicles,” said Sandra Gonzalez, design manager for the Capital Programs Department in Hillsborough County.
According to a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and Federal Highway Administration, roundabouts reduce injury crashes by 75 percent at intersections where stop signs were previously used for traffic control because drivers in roundabouts tend to be travelling at slower speeds, with all vehicles travelling in the same direction. There is also no rush to speed through a changing traffic light.
Maria Jeans, who moved to FishHawk last year, said she’s lived in many communities, but none had as many roundabouts as this one.
“I like the concept of the roundabout for keeping traffic flowing, as long as drivers know how to use them,” she said.
According to Florida’s Department of Transportation, properly navigate a roundabout by reducing speed as you approach the roundabout, watch for bicyclists and pedestrians, look left for oncoming traffic, yield to vehicles already in the roundabout, wait for a gap and enter, do not stop in the roundabout or pass other vehicles and use your turn signal to exit to the right.
The project is currently in the planning phase and is expected to cost approximately $3 million. Construction is slated to begin in late 2022 and be completed by mid-2023.
For more information about the Operation and Safety Enhancement Plan visit https://www.hillsboroughcounty.org/en/government/county-projects/project-list#/26292.