A well-designed roundabout is more environmentally friendly than a traffic signal-regulated intersection. This is due to reduced idling times while waiting for the green signal, which results in lower fuel waste (and so carbon dioxide emissions) as well as lower carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide emissions. According to computer simulations, CO2 produced could be lowered by 55-61%, and hydrocarbons (also greenhouse gases) by 62-68%.
Indeed roundabouts save more energy from vehicles because it reduces the need to stop when going down a different street. The most stopping one would have to do is slow down to wait for an opening in traffic going around. While roundabouts seem more streamlined, they can be quite frustrating to people who have never used them before, particularly ones that do not have designated lanes. I believe it is this frustration that has kept most cities from building them in favor of standard intersections with traffic lights, as a way of controlling traffic.
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