"They move traffic, what we're trying to do is relieve congestion. A stop sign if you have, I'll take for instance, over around an elementary school creates congestion," Public Works Director John Glascock said.
Columbia has eleven roundabouts now. And more are on the way.
A 2001 study done by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety said roundabouts can decrease traffic delays by about 20 percent because it lowers the need to make a complete stop at the intersection.
Drew Scheneman is the head of the Columbia Driving School. Part of his job is teaching new drivers the proper way to deal with these traffic circles.
"Whenever you come up to a roundabout, the first thing that you always do, alright, we're going to have to slow down because of course we have to yield to the traffic that's inside the circle," Scheneman said.
Once inside the circle the traffic moves counter clockwise towards the right.
"The thing about the roundabout is if there's no traffic in the circle, we don't ever have to come to a complete stop and we can keep traffic moving," Scheneman said.
The newest roundabout just opened at the intersection of State Farm Parkway and South Hampton Drive. Future plans include roundabouts near the Vandiver Drive Extension and possibly Clark Lane.
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