Around and around and around Carmel we go…
Carmel, Indiana – the suburb of Indianapolis that I’ve been touring since yesterday afternoon – is internationally known for its roundabouts. The city went from zero in the early 1990s to almost 80 roundabouts today, a record number for an American city, according to Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard.
Brainard has become a roundabout evangelist, traveling across the country in support of the traffic circles, which put a circular, nonstop lane of traffic at an intersection in place of the traffic signals. According to him they cost less, are safer and make the city’s grid more efficient when compared to traffic lights.
The proliferation and success of roundabouts in Carmel even attracted the eyes of CNN’s Anderson Cooper.
Roundabouts may seem like a quaint sideshow in a city that is approaching the billion-dollar mark on public investment, including a world-class, $170-million concert hall, but those circular traffic features are probably one of the biggest draws for this Clarksville Chamber of Commerce trip.
Three of the city’s street department staff made the trip and we got a special tour of the roundabouts with Brainard and the director of the Carmel’s street department. So don’t be too surprised if Clarksvillians start to drive in circles, on purpose, in the near future.
I might start lobbying for the placement of roundabout and L’Arc de Triompe at the intersection of North Second and Riverside….