Minnesota Department of Transportation

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Research & Innovation

Roundabouts, J-Turn, etc. — Understanding their Economic Impacts

Need statement 721

J-Turn Intersections (also referred to as Reduced Conflict Intersections, RCI, RCUTs) and Roundabouts are continuing to prove their value as traffic safety devices and reducing fatal and serious injury crashes. However, communities can often balk at the idea of these alternative intersections, especially businesses and business owners. This research would continue to build on other studies showing that access management, access improvements, and safety improvements are positive for road users and economic vitality of the nearby businesses. This study would evaluate the economic performance of various businesses with proximity to alternative intersections.

This study could continue the messaging that the priority of safety can be achieved while still addressing the need for access and continued provision of economic benefits. In the past some cases of limited access (and closures) have been legally challenged.  This research could be used to help build public support in the lead-up to a safety improvement. Showing positive results from similar circumstances could potentially turn opponents into advocates.

Suggested deliverables

  • Economic analysis of business on or near safety elements including J-Turns and roundabouts; if helpful, provide review of past case law.
  • Summary fact sheet of the safety benefits of these elements.
  • Brochure highlighting the safety benefits and economic analysis of various safety devices that can be used at public engagement meetings.
  • Develop an advocacy video, including testimonials from business owners (MnDOT has several recorded interviews) providing positive messaging for J-Turns.

Previous research

Possible members for technical advisory panel

  • Mark Vizecky, State Aid
  • Brad Estochen, Ramsey County
  • Ben Johnson, Olmsted County
  • Howard Preston, Consultant
  • Julie Groetsch, MnDOT Land Management
  • Matt Aguirre, MnDOT Land Surveyor