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'MythBusters' Test Out Roundabout Theory

Just how well does a roundabout work? MythBusters set out to find out.

"A triumph of efficiency, or compared to the good old, American four-way, a catastrophic circus of congestion?"

What might command such descriptors? The oft-talked about roundabout, coming soon to 183rd and Oak Park Avenue in Tinley Park.

Officials say the roundabout will help cut back on traffic problems, which sees traffic converge from First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre, Tinley Park Convention Center, and I-80. The roundabout funnels drivers around a center island, only allowing righthand turns.

But MythBusters hosts and special effects experts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman don't take anyone's word for it—they put theories, rumors and claims to the test on the Discovery Channel. 

The hosts tried out both methods of passage, by setting up a marked, four-way intersection with traffic barriers, clocking how many cars crossed the intersection in both scenarios. 
 
The results? At a four-way stop, 385 drivers passed through in 15 minutes—a rate of more than 1 car every 2.5 seconds. 

And at the roundabout? 460 cars in 15 minutes. 

For more, check out their video. 



Dan June 16, 2014 at 09:58 AM
I would be interested to see the results of a test that met the same conditions as we have on 183rd and Oak Park Avenue where the proposed roundabout will be located. How about a test of a roundabout versus a traffic signal? I would also like to see it simulated with the same volume of traffic that is common for a concert night during summer. In my opinion, the Mythbusters' example has little to do with the real-world application that local residents will be encountering.
sandy June 16, 2014 at 03:57 PM
Makes no sense for a roundabout there. If i had a choice between a roundabout or the exit ramps from I-80 being put in around 183 and Ridgeland, i would choose the exit ramps. But then once the roundabout is in and the village see's it isn't working, you know the next thing they will say is we need another exit ramp from I-80 for the concert traffic. What a waste of money.
Brandon Wigboldy June 16, 2014 at 04:38 PM
It's going to make it far more difficult if not impossible for those of us who live on 67th ct south of 183rd to be able to get out. When this was brought up at the meeting they even said they hadn't considered that issue. The whole thing is very poorly planned.
LS June 18, 2014 at 08:32 PM
It will make it impossible for the residents in Millennium Lakes to get out of the sub division not just during concerts but rush hour too.At least with the traffic light you can get a break in traffic once in awhile. Imagine traffic from the convention center, traffic from the concert and trying to get out of the sub-division. Mr. Mayor I invite you to try to get out of our sub-division in that scenario. The Mayor saw the federal money and jumped at the chance to get it without any concern for the residents who live in that area. Then he held a open house trying to sell it and yet the Mayor was not there to answer our questions. he staffed with people who could not answer those questions.

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