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Why has the Kansas Turnpike Authority built roundabouts on both Lawrence exits? It seems more expensive compared with what they would have accomplished with a couple of stop signs.

The Kansas Turnpike Authority expects traffic to increase in the coming years and decades, and the new roundabouts at Exits 202 and 204 in Lawrence are designed to accommodate such activity safely and efficiently, said Rex Fleming, turnpike project engineer. “Our analysis showed that over time those stop signs would break down — which in engineering terms means they wouldn’t function like we want them to — and showed roundabouts would work well into the future,” said Fleming, who is overseeing a $130 million overhaul of interchanges and replacement of bridges in the Lawrence area. “They can handle more traffic.” And they can do so more safely, he said: “Roundabouts are shown to be a safer intersection. It almost eliminates the ‘T-bone’ accidents, which are normally a higher severity of accident. The severity of accidents is greatly reduced compared with normal intersections.”

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