roundabout in downtown sarasota at night
Photo courtesy: City of Sarasota
pedestrians walking across a crosswalk on tamiami trail in sarasota

The City of Sarasota Guide to Roundabouts

Modern roundabouts are becoming common across Sarasota’s roadways, and there are plans for more!

March 24, 2021

Single-lane roundabouts were introduced in downtown Sarasota over the past decade as a way to begin familiarizing the community with how they operate and getting residents and visitors more comfortable navigating them. Many of Sarasota’s roundabouts include beautiful public art sculptures in their centers.

walkway at night
This roundabout in downtown Sarasota's arts district features a sculpture called 'Jumping Fish' by artist Jeffrey Laramore (Photo courtesy: City of Sarasota)

Multi-lane roundabouts were recently completed along U.S. 41 at 10th Street, 14th Street and Fruitville Road, with another under construction at Gulfstream Avenue and more to come. Following years of study, community engagement and thoughtful planning, these roundabouts were affirmed by the public, the City Commission and a whole generation of traffic and engineering professionals as the best way to connect downtown Sarasota to the Bayfront and enhance safety for everyone while maintaining traffic flow and volume.

Why roundabouts?

Roundabouts offer several improvements over traditional, signalized intersections, including:

  • 35% reduction in crashes
  • 76% reduction in crashes with significant injuries
  • 90% reduction in fatalities
  • Slower speeds, enhancing safety for pedestrians and bicyclists
  • Better vehicle flow
  • Half the lifetime cost of maintenance
  • Reduced fuel consumption thanks to fewer stops/hard accelerations and less time idling
  • Reduced air and noise pollution
  • Improved evacuation route, as roundabouts work during power outages (unlike traditional traffic signals)

How do you drive a roundabout?

Just like traveling through a traditional intersection, to safely navigate a roundabout you first need to know where you are going and slow down. Then:

  • Pick your lane
  • Yield to pedestrians and vehicles
  • Enter the roundabout
  • Exit and yield to pedestrians

This video shows a driver’s view experience and outlines how modern roundabouts operate.

What about pedestrians?

Roundabouts drastically reduce the number of “conflict points” for both vehicles and pedestrians by 75% compared to conventional intersections, helping to eliminate left turn and T-bone crashes and pedestrian incidents.

Roundabouts on Sarasota’s major roadways feature a Pedestrian Hybrid Beacon, also known as a HAWK signal. Unlike conventional pedestrian signals, the HAWK is only operational when activated by a pedestrian. Here’s an easy guide for how pedestrians and drivers can safely use them.

HAWK signal on U.S. 41 near Gulfstream Ave. (Photo courtesy: City of Sarasota)

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