Conservatively Speaking

State Senator Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) represents parts of four counties: Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, and Walworth. Her Senate District 28 includes New Berlin, Franklin, Greendale, Hales Corners, Muskego, Waterford, Big Bend, the town of Vernon and parts of Greenfield, East Troy, and Mukwonago. Senator Lazich has been in the Legislature for more than a decade. She considers herself a tireless crusader for lower taxes, reduced spending and smaller government.

MJS questions roundabouts


One year ago this month, I blogged the following about roundabouts:

“Before the state proceeds with its plan to blanket roadways with roundabouts, it should slow down and I have made that request to the DOT. …..I suggest the state put the brakes on roundabouts until the kinks can be worked out. The idea is to improve all aspects of roundabouts: design, safety, ease of use.”

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Editorial Board one year later seems to have come to the same conclusion, writing:

We're not ready to give up on roundabouts just yet, and we think in general they can work well. But they are not the solution for every intersection, and officials should be careful about where they place them.”

The editorial concludes:

“And the state needs to monitor roundabouts carefully to make sure accident rates aren't going up statewide. If they are, the state should reconsider its policy on roundabouts.”

You can read the editorial here. 

New numbers show roundabouts unsafe


Jane Ford-Stewart of NewBerlinNOW provides some new data about the safety of roundabouts. Ford-Stewart writes:

“New figures from the city show that drivers were more likely to have a crash in the Moorland Road/Rock Ridge roundabout last year than at any other major intersection in New Berlin.

There were 2.08 crashes per 1 million vehicles through the intersection, the highest crash rate among the top 25
New Berlin intersections in 2008.

New Berlin's other roundabout, at Moorland Road and Interstate 43, had the third highest crash rate with 1.43 crashes per 1 million vehicles.

Those figures are based on accidents reported to the state - those that involve injuries or more than $1,000 in property damage. Eight of the city's top 25 intersections had crash rates more than 1 per 1 million vehicles in 2008, an indication that the intersection should be looked at for safety improvements, city officials say.”

My consistent view is that these roundabouts were installed too quickly and were not ready for prime time.

You can read Ford-Stewart’s article here.  

Here are my previous blogs about roundabouts.

Wisconsin roundabouts could face legal challenge


The Wisconsin Department of Transportation is on a roundabout rampage. 

The La Crosse Tribune reports opponents in Prairie du Chien are ready to engage in a legal battle on behalf of the disabled. The newspaper writes:

“Opponents of traffic roundabouts in Prairie du Chien have a new weapon: a blind attorney from Michigan who says Wisconsin is heading for a legal showdown if it doesn’t back off plans to build roundabouts. Richard Bernstein, specializing in disability rights cases, has battled roundabouts in his home state — and threatened lawsuits in Wisconsin — on the grounds they violate the federal Americans with Disabilities Act.” 

Bernstein told the Tribune a court fight is inevitable.

Here is more information about Bernstein’s previous challenge to roundabouts, a Detroit TV news story, and a Michigan Lawyers Weekly article.