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Minn. experts: Circular intersections prove safer

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The rise of the roundabout in Minnesota is helping explain a drop in serious crashes.

That's the verdict from state transportation experts, who tell the St. Paul Pioneer Press that the circular intersections prove safer, more environmentally sound and better for the flow of traffic.

There are 115 roundabouts statewide, with another 39 planned or under construction. They've replaced right-angle traffic crossings.

Ken Johnson of the Minnesota Department of Transportation points to the state's first roundabout near New Prague.

Before it went in, the intersection was the site of two deaths and 50 injury-causing accidents in five years. Since the roundabout was installed seven years ago, there have been no fatalities and only four injury crashes.

That meshes with federal statistics that show roundabouts reduce fatalities by 90 percent.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.