Wisconsin GOP Discovers New Threat: Roundabouts

In Wisconsin, anti-urban politicos are out to kill a streetcar project that Milwaukee has been trying to build for years, while the state DOT plows ahead with cars-only mega-projects over the objections of civil rights advocates. The guiding principle isn’t to give local communities a say in transportation policy — it’s to build more highways.

The horror! Image: AZ DOT

Except, apparently, when the state DOT actually wants to do something smart. James Rowen at The Political Environment reports that Republican state legislators want to pass a bill that would let localities essentially veto roundabouts proposed by the state DOT. He says it’s one more indication that the politicians who set the state’s transportation policy seem to be living in a fact-bereft time warp:

The fury from the right lane of state politics had been building since radio talker Mark Belling and New Berlin GOP State Senator Mary Lazich first had trouble negotiating roundabouts’ mysteries.

WisDOT has even posted some of the stupid science about the performance of roundabouts that right-wing Republican legislators are rightfully turning away from:

  • 52 percent reduction in fatal and injury crashes
  • 9 percent reduction for all crashes

Though experts agree that roundabouts reduce accidents and their severity when compared with straight-through intersections with 90-degree turns that your great-grandparents preferred in the old-timey, data-free past.

Elsewhere on the Network today: The League of American Bicyclists gives its take on the spectacular failure of the House transportation budget. Streets.mn wonders about self-driving cars’ potential to blur the lines between public and private transportation. And Rails to Trails outlines 10 great things happening for biking and walking in Tennessee.